I Samuel 9:25-10:16 Saul Is Anointed As King And Prophesies.
Saul and Samuel rested in the evening, and when they arose they set out on a journey that would begin with Samuel fulfilling the command of God to anoint Saul as Israel’s king, the LORD’s inheritance (9:25-10:1 Cf. 9:16). First on Saul’s journey would be Zelrah, where he would find his father Kish’s missing donkeys, which is what began his journey in the first place (9:3). As Saul feared, the time had been so long since leaving his father, that he was now more worried about the absence of his son (10:2 Cf. 9:3-5). Saul was to then go on to Tabor where he would meet three men who were on their way to Bethel. They would have three each of goats, bread, and wine, and they would give Saul two loaves of bread which he was to receive (v. 4). They would then go to “the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is” (v. 5a). This was a foreshadowing of the task that would be ahead for Saul.
Upon entering the city there, Saul would be met by a group of prophets with musical instruments, prophesying.* At that time the Spirit of God would also come upon Saul who would prophesy, “and be turned into another man” (v. 6). “Samuel’s words will be confirmed to Saul as the sequence of events comes to pass in the order foretold.” (NGSB. 390) By giving such a detailed description to Saul, Samuel was giving him proof in the way of signs in his near future that God was in charge (v. 7). Saul would then go before Samuel to Gilgal, the place where the LORD “rolled back” the sin of his people under Joshua, before they began the LORD’s battles in the promised land. He was to wait seven days, when Samuel would join him and “offer burnt offerings and sacrifices of peace offerings”(v. 8).** They needed to be right with the LORD and at peace with him, before the LORD would give them peace from their enemies.
We then come to a key verse in this discourse, conveying to us a central truth that the LORD God is sovereign over history and the hearts of men. “So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day” (v. 9). All the signs which the true prophet Samuel had communicated came to pass, but one thing was not told to Saul, that his old heart would be given back to him. When the Spirit came upon him he was “turned into another man” (v. 6). Without the Spirit coming upon him to prophesy, Saul was still his old self. He prophesied with the other prophets, but then he went to the high place as Samuel had instructed him (vv. 10-13). When he met his uncle he only told him that he had found the donkeys, what was the initial cause of his leaving, and not “about the matter of the kingdom” (v. 16).
*“Samuel is associated with a group of prophets in 19:20, where he is described as their leader. Note the similar association of Elisha with the “sons of the prophets” in 2 Kin. 2; 6:1; 9:1; etc. These prophetic guilds appear to have been made up of defenders of true religion in times of widespread apostasy and spiritual indifference.” (NGSB. 390).
**“A full description of the ritual of the burnt offering can be found in Lev. 1:3-17. Burnt offerings are also mentioned in 6:14, 15; 7:9, 10; 13:9, 12; 15:22; 2 Sam. 6:17, 18; 24:25. The fellowship offering is described in Lev. 3 and is first mentioned in Ex. 20:24. Other references in Samuel to fellowship offerings are 11:15; 13:9; 2 Sam. 6:17, 18; 24:25.” (NGSB. 391)