Daily Tanach, Sunday: Shmuel 1-Chapter 9: Shaul Meets Shmuel

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 9: Shaul meets Shmuel

1.      Who is Shaul?

  • There was a man from the tribe of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Aviel, the son of Bechoros, the son of Afiach, the son of a Benjamite. He was a warrior.
  • This man had a son named Shaul, who was a good young lad. There was no one amongst the Jewish people as great as he was. He was a shoulders length taller than everyone else of his nation.


2.      Shaul searches for his father’s lost mules:

  • Kish, the father of Shaul, lost his mules and he asked his son Shaul to take with him one of the young lads and go search for the mules.
  • So, he traveled throughout the mountains of Efraim, and to the lands of Shalisha although he did not find them. He traveled to the land of Shalim, and they were not to be found. He traveled to the land of Benjamin, and they were not to be found.
  • They arrived at the land of Tzuf, and Shaul turned to the lad and told him they should go and return home as his father may be worried about them, and this worry will override the worry of his mules.


3.      Shaul decides to approach Shmuel to help him find his father’s lost mules:

  • The deliberations of traveling to Shmuel: The lad said to Shaul, “Behold there is a man of G-d in this city and the man is very well respected whatever he says comes to fruition. Let us now go there, as perhaps he can tell us the direction that we should take.” Shaul replied to the lad, “If we go, what will we bring to the man, as we have used up all our last bread, and we have no gift to bring to the man of G-d, what can we do?” The lad continued to speak and replied to Shaul: I have in my hands a quarter of a shekel of silver, and I will give it to the man of G-d and he will tell us the direction that we should be following [i.e. that which occurred to our mules[1]]. Indeed, at that time it was accustomed amongst Israel that the man who went to search G-d would go to the seer, as the prophet of that day was called a seer. Shaul said to his lad: Your words are good, let us go to the city in which the man of G-d is found.
  • Traveling to meet Shmuel and asking the girls for directions: They traveled to the city in which the man of G-d is found. They were walking up the steps of the city and they found young girls who went to draw water and they asked them if there is a seer in this city. The girls replied that indeed there is a seer before them, and that they should hurry now as he just arrived at the city today, as today is the day the nation brings sacrifices on the portable altar. “When you arrive to the city, you will [need to] find him prior to going up to the altar to eat, as the nation will not eat until he arrives, as he blesses the offerings, and afterwards all those invited eat from it. Now, hurry and go, as you will only find him today.” So, they went up to the city, and as they were coming into the city, Shmuel went towards them to go up the altar.
  • G-d forewarned Shmuel of the arrival of Shaul and instructed to anoint him as king: G-d had revealed to the ears of Shmuel, the day before Shaul’s arrival, that the next day at this time, He will send to him a man from the tribe of Benjamin. G-d instructed him as follows: “You are to anoint him to become a leader for My nation of Israel, as he will save My nation from the hands of the Philistines, as I have seen the pain that My nation is experiencing and their cry towards Me.”

[1] Rashi 9:6

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