1 A Benjaminite from the mountain village of Gibeah who became Israel’s first king. Saul was divinely appointed in response to a popular demand for a king. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel (1Sam 9-10) and distinguished himself through military prowess against the Philistines (1Sam 14:47-48). But when Saul failed to carry out instructions given him by Samuel, he was rejected by God (1Sam 13:7-14; 1Sam 15:10-29), who sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a new king (1Sam 16:1-13). The biblical account of the latter years of Saul’s reign (1Sam 16:14-31:13) presents him mainly as a foil against which David’s rise to power appears all the more glorious. David surpasses Saul in military prowess (1Sam 18:6-7), he wins the loyalty of all Israel, including Saul’s eldest son, Jonathan (1Sam 18:1-4), and he marries Saul’s daughter Michal (1Sam 18:20-27). Saul, now tormented by “an evil spirit from the Lord” (1Sam 16:14), becomes increasingly obsessed with jealousy and suspicion, persecuting David relentlessly. The conflict is not resolved until Saul, defeated in a battle with the Philistines on Mt. Gilboa, kills himself by falling on his own sword (1Sam 31:4). 2The Jewish name of the NT apostle and missionary also known as Paul (Acts 7:58; Acts 9:1).
Saul Chosen to Be King
1There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. ... View more
Saul's Continuing Wars
47When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side—against Moab, against the Ammonites, agai ... View more
7Some Hebrews crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.8He waited seven days, the t ... View more
Saul Rejected as King
10The word of the Lord came to Samuel:11“I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out ... View more
David Anointed as King
1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil a ... View more
David Plays the Lyre for Saul
14Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.15And Saul's servants said to him, ... View more
6As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Sau ... View more
Jonathan's Covenant with David
1When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own ... View more
20Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David. Saul was told, and the thing pleased him.21Saul thought, “Let me give her to him that she may be a snare for him and t ... View more
David Plays the Lyre for Saul
14Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
4Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised may not come and thrust me through, and make sp ... View more
58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
The Conversion of Saul
1Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest