17Samuel summoned the people to the LORD at Mizpah 18and said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said, ‘No! but set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your clans.”
20Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken by lot. Finally he brought the family of the Matrites near man by man, and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. 22So they inquired again of the LORD, “Did the man come here?” and the LORD said, “See, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” 23Then they ran and brought him from there. When he took his stand among the people, he was head and shoulders taller than any of them. 24Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship; and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people back to their homes. 26Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went warriors whose hearts God had touched. 27But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.
Now Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the Gadites and the Reubenites. He would gouge out the right eye of each of them and would not grant Israel a deliverer. No one was left of the Israelites across the Jordan whose right eye Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had not gouged out. But there were seven thousand men who had escaped from the Ammonites and had entered Jabesh-gilead.