Samuel had arranged for Saul to leave Ramah at dawn. Saul needed to leave early. He would have to walk more than 20 miles (30 kilometres) to return home to Gibeah.
Samuel explained the route carefully. God had shown him three things that would happen to Saul at particular places on that route. Those three events would prove to Saul that Samuel really had spoken by the power of God. So, Saul would know that God really had chosen him to be Israelís king.
Firstly, Saul would pass the grave of Rachel. You can read about Rachel, and how she died, in Genesis 35:16-20. There, Saul would meet two men, who would recognise him. They would tell him that someone had already found his fatherís missing animals. That information would prove that Samuel had spoken a correct message from God in 1 Samuel 9:20.
Probably, Saulís father was asking everyone who passed through Gibeah to look for Saul. Saul was easy to recognise (10:23). So it would not surprise Saul to receive this message. However, it would help him to know that God was active in his life.
Secondly, Saul would meet three men who were going to the ancient holy place at Bethel (see Genesis 28:18-22). They were taking three goats, which they would offer as sacrifices (gifts to God). They probably intended to offer the bread and wine with their sacrifices. However, they would give two of their three loaves to Saul. Because the men intended to use those loaves for a sacred purpose, those loaves were holy. Because Saul was not a priest, he would usually refuse such a gift. However, Samuel told him that he should accept it. As Israelís king, Saul would be carrying out a sacred task.
The third event would happen near Saulís home at Gibeah. We will study it in our next section.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.