1 Samuel 7–9

1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord. And they brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord. 2 And from the day the ark resided in Kiriath Jearim, the days increased to twenty years.

And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. 3 Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and Ashtoreths from your midst. And make firm your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only. Then He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and Ashtoreths and served the Lord only.

5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6 They gathered together to Mizpah. And they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted on that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” So Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah.

7 When the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 The children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying unto the Lord our God for us, that He might save us out of the hand of the Philistines.” 9 Samuel took a suckling lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering unto the Lord. And Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel and the Lord heard him.

10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel, but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines, and confused them. So they were beaten before Israel. 11 Israel’s fighting men went out of Mizpah, and pursued the Philistines, and struck them, as far as below Beth Kar.

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen. And he called its name Ebenezer saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not again come into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath. And Israel rescued their territory out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

15 So Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 He went annually in a circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all those places. 17 But his return was to Ramah, for his house was there and there he judged Israel. And there he built an altar to the Lord.

Chapter 8

1 And it came about when Samuel was old, that he installed his sons as judges for Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second son was Abijah. They were judging in Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not walk in his way, for they followed after unlawful gain, and they took bribes, and they perverted justice.

4 And all the elders of Israel gathered together and they came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now, install for us a king to govern us like all the nations.”

6 But the thing was evil in the eyes of Samuel, because they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in relation to all that they say to you. For it is not you they have rejected, but Me they have rejected from reigning over them. 8 Just as all the deeds which they have done to Me, from the day I brought them up from Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken Me and have served other gods, so they are doing also to you now. 9 Now then, obey their voice. Only you will testify against them and proclaim to them the judgment concerning the king who will reign over them.”

10 So Samuel said all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking from him a king. 11 And he said, “This will be the judgment concerning the king who will reign over you: Your sons he will take in order to place them for himself in his chariots and as his horsemen, and they will run before his chariot, 12 and in order to assign for himself captains of thousands and captains of fifties, and to plow his ground, and to gather in his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 And your daughters he will take for perfumers, and cooks, and bakers. 14 And your choicest fields, and vineyards, and olive groves he will take and give them to his servants. 15 And of your seed fields and your vineyards he will take a tenth of their harvest and will give it to his high officials and to his servants. 16 And your menservants and your maidservants, and the best of your young men and asses he will take and make do his work. 17 Your flocks he will take a tenth of, but you will be his for slaves. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But surely a king will be over us! 20 So that we also will be like all the nations! And so that our king will govern us, and will go out before us, and will fight our battles.”

21 And after Samuel heard all the words of the people, he spoke them in the hearing of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice, and make for them a king.”

So Samuel said to Israel’s fighting men, “Go every man to his city.”

Chapter 9

1 Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. 2 He had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a better looking man among the children of Israel. From his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.

3 Now the donkeys of Kish, the father of Saul, were lost. And Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now one of the servants with you, and arise, go find the donkeys.” 4 He passed through the mountains of Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, “Come, and let us return lest my father stop caring about the donkeys and worry about us.”

6 He said to him, “Look, there is in this city a man of God, and he is highly respected. All that he speaks surely comes about. Now let us go there. Perhaps he can show us the way that we should go.”

7 Then Saul said to his servant, “But listen, if we go, what will we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our satchels, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?”

8 And the servant answered Saul again, and said, “Look, I have here in my hand a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God, to tell us our way.” 9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, “Come, and let us go to the seer.” For he that is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)

10 Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said. Come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

11 As they went up the hill to the city, they found young women going out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?”

12 And they answered them and said, “He is. See, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for today he came to the city, because there is a sacrifice for the people in the high place today. 13 As soon as you come into the city, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice. Afterwards those invited will eat. Now therefore, go up, for about this time of the day you will find him there.”

14 So they went up into the city. And when they entered, Samuel was coming toward them to go up to the high place.

15 Now the Lord had revealed in the ear of Samuel one day before Saul came, saying, 16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin. And you will anoint him to be leader over My people Israel, that he may save My people out of the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come unto Me.”

17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! This one will rule over My people.”

18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, “Tell me, please, where is the seer’s house?”

19 Samuel answered Saul, and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you will eat with me today. And tomorrow I will let you go, and will tell you then all that is in your heart. 20 As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not worry about them for they have been found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father’s house?”

21 And Saul answered and said, “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you speak to me this way?”

22 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the hall, and gave them a place at the head of those invited, which were about thirty men. 23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it aside.’”

24 Then the cook took up the thigh and what was on it and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here is what was set aside. Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until this time, since I said I have invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 When they had come down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul up on the roof. 26 They arose early, and it was at the rising of the dawn that Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went to the street. 27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on before us.” So he passed on. “But you stand still and I will proclaim to you the word of God.”

Luke 9:18–36

18 As He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him. And He asked them, “Who do the people say that I am?”

19 They answered, “John the Baptist. But some say Elijah. And others say that one of the old prophets has risen.”

20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

21 Jesus strictly commanded them to tell no one of this, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His own glory and in the glory of His Father and of the holy angels.

27 “But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

28 About eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His countenance was altered, and His clothing was white and glistening. 30 And suddenly two men were talking with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His departure which He was to accomplish in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep. But waking thoroughly, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33 As they departed from Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three sanctuaries: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” not knowing what he said.

34 While he was speaking, a cloud came and overshadowed them. And they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They kept silent and told no one in those days anything they had seen.