Bible Notes Online - 1-Samuel 9 - ESV

v1-2: After the people had decided to have a king, the writer introduces us to Saul. He became the people's choice. Saul was a promising young man, with an impressive physical appearance, standing out from the crowd. The Lord later corrected Samuel in making a judgment based on appearance (16.7).

v3-6: There was an ordinary incident, Kish's donkeys were lost. Later Saul met women drawing water (v11). The Lord will look for godly attitudes even in such everyday incidents. Saul was certainly diligent in his task, having walked quite a distance to find the donkeys. His servant's advice was also helpful, that they seek counsel from the godly man from Zuph, who was Samuel.

v7-10: Saul and his servant went to the man of God to enquire of him. They would be expected to give him some money or food. Doubtless this was the way that such men were provided for.

v11-14: 'You will find Samuel worshipping God', for this was his normal practice. All of the people of the city knew and respected this.

v15-16: Samuel was a man in touch with God. For years he had been a powerful spiritual influence upon the people; his impact was similar to that of Elijah and Elisha later.

Samuel made offerings in various places, 7.6,9; 9.13-14, whilst the ark remained at Kiriath Jearim; later these places were used for idol worship.

Saul, like Samuel himself, was used to deliver the people from the Philistines. Saul was God's choice, and his feelings were not relevant. God responded to the people’s desire for a king. Their desire would be fulfilled in Saul.

v17-21: At the first meeting between Saul and Samuel, Samuel assured Saul about the safety of his donkeys. God had already told Samuel that Saul was the chosen man. Saul's humility was clear, that the desire of all Israel should not be upon him; he was part of the smallest family of the smallest tribe in Israel.

v22-24: Samuel knew that there were to be extra guests, namely Saul and his servant.

v25-27: After the sacrifice and the feast, Samuel evidently had instructions for Saul, and took him on the roof to speak to him. As they were leaving, Samuel took Saul aside, to anoint him.