Week 17, Day 1 in the LEB

Apr 22, 2024

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The reading for today is 1 Samuel 9-10; Acts 8.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

1 Samuel 9

Now there was a man from Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjaminite, a very wealthy man. He had a son whose name was Saul, a young and handsome man. There was not a man from the Israelites more handsome than he was; from his shoulders up, he was taller than all the people.

Now the female donkeys of Kish the father of Saul got lost, and Kish said to Saul his son, "Please take one of the servants with you and get up; go and seek the female donkeys." So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim; he passed through the land of Shalisha but they did not find them. They passed through the land of Shaalim but they were not there. He passed through the land of Benjamin but did not find them.

When they entered the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, "Come, let us return, lest my father cease caring about the female donkeys and worry about us!" But he said to him, "Look, a man of God is in this town, and the man is honored. All that he says certainly comes true. So then let us go there; perhaps he will tell us about our journey on which we have gone." So Saul said to his servant, "Look, we may go, but what should we bring to the man? For the bread is gone from our bags, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have with us?" The servant again answered Saul and said, "Look, I have in my hand a quarter shekel of silver! I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us our way." (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he would say: "Come, let us go up to the seer." For the prophet of today was formerly called a seer.) So Saul said to his servant, "Your suggestion is a good one. Come, let us go." And they went to the town where the man of God was.

They were going up the ascent of the town when they found young women going out to draw water. They said to them, "Is there the seer here?" They answered them and said, "There is. Look, he is just in front of you! Hurry now, because he has come to the town today, because there is a sacrifice for the people today at the high place. As soon as you enter the town, 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. Then afterward the invited guests will eat. So then, go up, because you will find him today!" So they went up to the town. As they were entering into the middle of the town, Samuel was coming forth to meet them, to go up to the high place.

Now Yahweh had revealed this to Samuel the day before Saul arrived, saying, "This time tomorrow I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you must anoint him as leader over my people Israel. He will deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen the suffering of my people, because their cry of distress has come to me." When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh answered him, "Here is the man about whom I told you! This is the one who will govern my people."

Then Saul approached Samuel in the middle of the gate and said, "Please tell me, where is the house of the seer?" Samuel answered Saul and said, "I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place, and you will eat with me today; then I will send you away in the morning. I will tell you all that is on your mind. And as for your female donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be concerned about them, because they have been found. For whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not for you and for all the house of your father?"

Saul answered and said, "Am I not a Benjaminite, from the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the humblest of all the families of the tribes of Benjamin? Why do you speak to me in this way?" So Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them to a room in the building and gave them a place at the head of the invited guests. There were about thirty men. Then Samuel said to the cook, "Bring the portion that I gave to you, about which I said to you, ‘Keep it with you.’" So the cook took up the shank and what was on it and put it before Saul, and he said, "Look, the saved portion is placed before you—eat, because it has been kept for you for the appointed time," and he said, "I have invited the people." So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

When they came down from the high place to the town, he spoke with Saul on the roof. They got up early, and as dawn was breaking, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, "Get up, so that I can send you away." So Saul got up and the two of them, he and Samuel, went outside. As they were going down to the outskirts of the town, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to pass on before us. When he has passed, you stand here a while, so that I can make known to you the word of God."

1 Samuel 10

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it over his head and kissed him and said, "Has not Yahweh anointed you as leader over his inheritance? As you go from with me today, you will find two men near the burial site of Rachel in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah. They will say to you, ‘The female donkeys that you went to search for have been found.’ Now look, your father is no longer concerned about the female donkeys and has begun worrying about you, saying, ‘What should I do about my son?’ Then you will go on from there and further you will come to the oak of Tabor. There three men will meet you, who are going up to God at Bethel. One will be carrying three male kid goats, one will be carrying three loaves of bread, and one will be carrying a skin of wine. They will ask how you are doing and will give you two loaves, which you will take from their hand. After this, you will come to the Gibeah of God, where there are sentries of the Philistines. Just as you enter the town there, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place, with harp, tambourine, flute, and zither before them, and they will be prophesying. Then the Spirit of Yahweh will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will turn into a different person. When these signs come to you, do for yourself what your hand finds to do, for God will be with you. Then you will go down before me to Gilgal. Look, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to make fellowship offerings. You must wait seven days until I come to you. Then I will let you know what you should do." Just as he turned his shoulder to depart from Samuel, God changed his heart. And all these signs were fulfilled on that day.

When they went from there to Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. And when all who knew him formerly saw that he prophesied with prophets, the people said to one another, "What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" And a man from there responded and said, "And who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb: "Is Saul also among the prophets?" When he finished prophesying, he went to the high place. Then Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, "Where did you go?" And he said, "To search for the female donkeys; and when we saw none, we went to Samuel." So Saul’s uncle said to him, "Please tell me, what did Samuel say to you?" Then Saul said to his uncle, "He told us for certain that the female donkeys had been found." But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingship of which Samuel had spoken.

Then Samuel summoned the people to Yahweh at Mizpah, and he said to the Israelites, "Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel: ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But you today have rejected your God who always delivers you from all of your calamities and your distresses. You have said to him, ‘No, but you must appoint a king over us!’ So then present yourselves before Yahweh by your tribes and by your clans."

So Samuel brought near all the tribes of Israel, and the tribe of Benjamin was selected by lot. Then he brought near the tribe of Benjamin according to its families, and the family of Matri was selected by lot. Then Saul the son of Kish was chosen, and they sought him, but he could not be found. So they inquired again of Yahweh, "Did the man come here?" And Yahweh said, "Look, he is hiding himself among the baggage." So they ran and took him from there, and when he took his stand among the people, he was taller than all the people from his shoulders and up. Then Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him whom Yahweh has chosen? For there is no one like him among all the people!" And all the people shouted and said, "Long live the king!"

Then Samuel told the people the custom of the kingship, and he wrote the rules down on a scroll and laid it before Yahweh. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each to his own house. And Saul also went to his house at Gibeah, and the troops whose hearts God had touched went with him. However, some worthless men said, "How can this man deliver us?" So they despised him and brought no gift to him, but he kept silent.

Acts 8

And Saul was agreeing with his murder. Now there happened on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul was attempting to destroy the church. Entering house after house, he dragged off both men and women and delivered them to prison.

Now those who had been scattered went about proclaiming the good news of the word. And Philip came down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming the Christ to them. And the crowds with one mind were paying attention to what was being said by Philip, as they heard him and saw the signs that he was performing. For many of those who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them, crying out with a loud voice, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.

Now a certain man named Simon had been in the city practicing magic and astonishing the people of Samaria, saying he was someone great. They were all paying attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’" And they were paying attention to him because for a long time he had astonished them with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were being baptized. And Simon himself also believed, and after he was baptized he was keeping close company with Philip. And when he saw the signs and great miracles that were taking place, he was astonished.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. (For he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then they placed their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, saying, "Give to me also this power, so that whomever I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit!" But Peter said to him, "May your silver be destroyed along with you, because you thought you could acquire the gift of God by means of money! You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and ask the Lord if perhaps the intent of your heart may be forgiven you!" For I see you are in a state of bitter envy and bound by unrighteousness." But Simon answered and said, "You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said will come upon me." So when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they turned back toward Jerusalem, and were proclaiming the good news to many villages of the Samaritans.

Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Get up and go toward the south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This is a desert road.) And he got up and went, and behold, there was a man, an Ethiopian eunuch (a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasury) who had come to worship in Jerusalem and was returning and sitting in his chariot, and reading aloud the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, "Approach and join this chariot." So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet and said, "So then, do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "So how could I, unless someone will guide me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of scripture that he was reading aloud was this:

"He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
    and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
    In his humiliation justice was taken from him.
Who can describe his descendants?
    For his life was taken away from the earth."

And the eunuch answered and said to Philip, "I ask you, about whom does the prophet say this—about himself or about someone else?" So Philip opened his mouth and beginning from this scripture, proclaimed the good news to him about Jesus. And as they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And he ordered the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water—Philip and the eunuch—and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any longer, for he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.