Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King

When Samuel, the good man and the wise judge, grew old he made his sons judge in Israel, to help him in the care of the people. But Samuel's sons did not walk in his ways. They did not try always to do justly. When men brought matters before them to be decided, they would decide for the one who gave them money, and not always for the one who was in the right.

The elders of all the tribes of Israel came to Samuel at his home in Ramah, and they said to him, "You are growing old, and your sons do not rule as well as you have ruled. All the lands around us have kings. Let us have a king also, and do you choose the king for us."

This was not pleasing to Samuel, not because he wished to rule, but because the Lord God was their king, and he felt that for Israel to have such a king as those who ruled the nations around them would be turning away from the Lord. Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to him, "Listen to the people in what they ask, for they have not turned away fro you; they have turned away from me in asking for a king. Let them have a king, but tell them of the wrong that they are doing, and show them what trouble their king will bring upon them."

Then Samuel called the elders of the people together, and he said to them, "If you have a king, as do the nations around, e will take your sons away from you, and will make some of them soldiers, and horsemen, and men to drive his chariots. He will take others of your sons to wait on him, to work in his fields, and to make his chariots and his weapons for war. Your king will take the best of your fields and your farms, will give them to the men of his court who are around him. He will make your daughters cook for him, and make bread, and serve in his palace. He will take a part of your sheep, and your oxen, and your asses. You will find that he will be your master and you shall be his servants. The time shall come when you will cry out to the Lord on account of the king that you have chosen, and the Lord will not hear you." But the people would not follow Samuel's advice. They said, "No, we will have a king to reign over us, so that we may be like other nations, and our king shall be our judge and shall lead us out to war."

It was God's will that Israel should be a quiet, plain people, living alone in the mountains, serving the Lord and not trying to conquer other nations. But they wished to be a great people, to be strong in war and to have riches and power. And the Lord said to Samuel, "Do as the people ask, and choose a king for them."

Then Samuel sent the people to their homes, promising to find a king for them.

There was at that time in the tribe of Benjamin a young man named Saul, the son of Kish. He was a very large man and noble looking. From his shoulders he stood taller than any other man in Israel. His father Kish was a rich man, with wide fields and many flocks. Some asses that belonged to Kish had strayed away, and Saul went out with a servant to find them. While they were looking for the asses they came near to Ramah, where Samuel lived. The servant said to Saul, "There is in this city a man of God whom all men honor. Let us go to him and give him a present. Perhaps he can tell us where to find the asses."

In those times a man to whom God made known his will was called a seer; in later times he was called a prophet.

So Saul and his servant came to Ramah and asked for the seer; and while they were coming the seer, who was Samuel, met them. On the day before the Lord had spoken to Samuel, and had said:

"To-morrow, about this time, I will send you a man out of the tribe of Benjamin, and you shall make him the prince of my people, and he shall save my people fro the Philistines."

And when Samuel saw this tall and noble-looking young man coming to meet him, he heard the Lord's voice, saying:

"This is the man of whom I spoke to you. He is the one that shall rule over my people."

Then Saul came near to Samuel, not knowing who he was, and he said, "Can you tell me where the seer's house is?" And Samuel answered Saul, "I am the seer; come with me up to the hill. We are to have an offering and a feast there. As for the asses that were lost three days ago, do not be troubled about them, for they have been found. But on whom is the desire of all Israel? Is it not on you and on your father's house?" Saul could not think what the seer meant in those last words. He said, "Is not my tribe of Benjamin the smallest of all the tribes? And is not my family the least of all the families in the tribe? Why do you say such things to me?"

But Samuel led Saul and his servant into the best room at his house; at the table, where thirty had been invited, he gave Saul the best place, and he put before him the choicest of the meat, and he said, "This has been kept for you of all those invited to the feast."

That night Saul and his servant slept in the best room, which was on the roof of Samuel's house. And the next morning Samuel sent the servant on while he spoke with Saul alone. He brought out a vial of oil and poured it on Saul's head, and said:

"The Lord has anointed you to be prince over his land his people."

Saul and Samuel


Then he told Saul just what he would find on the way, where he would meet certain people, and what he must do. He said:

"When you come to the tomb where Rachel is buried, two men will meet you and will say to you, 'The asses for which you were looking have been found, and now your father is looking for you.' Then under an oak you will meet three men carrying three kids, three loaves of bread, and a skin-bottle full of wine; and these men will give you as a present two loaves of bread. Next you will meet a company of prophets, men full of God's Spirit, with instruments of music, and the Lord's Spirit shall come upon you and a new heart shall be given to you. All these things will show you that God is with you. Now go, and do whatever God tells you to do."

And it came just as Samuel had said. These men met Saul, and when the prophets came near, singing and praising God, Saul joined them and also sang and praised the Lord. And in that hour a new spirit came to Saul. He was no more the farmer's son, for in him was the soul of a king.

Saul and Samuel


He came home, and told at home how he had met Samuel, and that Samuel said to him that the asses had been found. But he did not tell them that Samuel had poured oil upon his head and said that he was to be the king of Israel.

Then Samuel called all the people to the meeting place at Mizpah. And he told them that they had wished for a king, and God had chosen a king for them.

"Now," said Samuel, "let the men of the tribes pass by, each tribe and each family by itself."

The people passed by Samuel, and when the tribe of Benjamin came, out of all the tribes Benjamin was taken; out of Benjamin one family, and out of that family Saul's name was called. But Saul was not with his family; he had hidden away. They found him and brought him out; and when he stood among the people his head and shoulders rose above them all. And Samuel said: "Look at the man whom the Lord has chosen! There is not another like him among all the people!" And all the people shouted "God save the king! Long live the king!"

Then Samuel told the people what should be the laws for the king and for the people to obey. He wrote them down in a book, and placed the book before the Lord. Then Samuel sent the people home, and Saul went back to his own house at a place called Gibeah, and with Saul went a company of men to whose hearts God had given a love for the king. So after three hundred years under the fifteen judges Israel now had a king. But among the people there were some who were not pleased with the new king, because he was an unknown man from the farm. They said, "Can such a man as this save us?" They showed no respect to the king and in their hearts looked down upon him. But Saul said nothing and showed his wisdom by appearing not to notice them.