1 Samuel 10:17-24 – God Selects the King


1 Samuel 10:17-24


Even as human kingship is presented as a concession to unfaithful people, God remains active in selecting kings and dynasties. 


After a recitation of God’s salvific work, and the disappointment God felt because the people asked for a human king, God nevertheless appointed Saul as king for the Israelites. The determination of who would be king was done by casting holy lots; presumably, but not explicitly here, through the Urim and Thummim.

The lot fell for the tribe of Benjamin, the clan of Matri, and finally for Saul himself. Yet Saul, knowing from Samuel that he was to be selected, was hiding among the baggage. The people might have regretted asking for a king when their appointed leader was found hiding from his duties. That is, until they saw that he was a giant, standing head and shoulders above everyone else. Samuel made sure to point out Saul’s distinct stature. And Saul’s height seems to have been enough to convince almost everyone to support Saul’s kingship.