Samuel instructs Saul on where to go (1 Sam 10:1-10:8)

“Now this shall be the sign to you that Yahweh has anointed you as ruler over his heritage. When you depart from me today you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah. They will say to you. ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found. Now your father has stopped worrying about them and is worrying about you. ‘What shall I do about my son?’”

Saul was to go to Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah. This is the only mention of this town in biblical literature.   Tourists can find this tomb between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Rachel was, of course, the mother of Benjamin and Joseph. Saul would meet 2 men there who would tell him that the donkeys have been found. However, now his father was worried about him. This was a sign for Saul that he was to be king of Israel.

“Then you shall go on from there further and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. They will greet you. They will give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from them.”

At the oaks of Tabor would indicate a place further north. It may also mean a Tabor oak tree. Anyway, on with the story, as 3 men, like the allusion to a trinity, will appear on the scene carrying goats, bread, and wine. They will give you 2 loaves of bread, which you shall accept.

“After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, at the place where there is the Philistine garrison. There as you come to the town, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place shrine with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre playing in front of them. They will be in a prophetic frenzy. Then the Spirit of Yahweh will possess you. You will be in a prophetic frenzy along with them. You will be turned into a different person.”

The journey continued. This is the only mention of this place Gibeath-elohim in biblical literature. However, Gibeah is a real place, the home of Saul. It is strange that it is Philistine stronghold and yet these prophets with musical instruments are present here. Here is also the first mention of frenzied charismatic prophets. Saul joined them and became a different person. He was born again.

“Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do. God is with you. You shall go down to Gilgal ahead of me. Then I will come down to you to present burnt offerings and offer sacrifices of well-being. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

What is Saul to do after these experiences? God was with Saul. He can do whatever he wants. However, he is to go to Gilgal, the original camp after the Israelites crossed the Jordan. There Samuel will come to him after waiting there 7 days. Then again, Samuel would tell Saul what he is to do. Clearly Samuel is in charge of all this. Samuel, who was so reluctant to have a king in chapter 8, sounds real enthusiastic about Saul being king. Saul, on the other hand, appeared bewildered and just went along with it.

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