Saul - Wikipedia
The Books of Samuel, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, form part of the narrative history of Israel in the But Saul proved unworthy and God's choice turned to David, who defeated Israel's enemies and brought the Ark to Jerusalem. . Various: several short sources, none of which have much connection to each other, and are fairly. expected to gain an insight into the view of the period of Samuel and Saul and of the relations existing between them held by. International Critical Commentary. Samuel's first recorded contact with Saul came at ramah where by divine design Saul was led to the prophet as he went in search of lost.
We do not hear God himself and therefore do not know His exact words. In Chapter 8, God has to tell Samuel three times vv.
1 Samuel 1– The Prophet Samuel and Saul, King of Israel
Samuel, however, does not listen, tries to dissuade them from their desire for a king and sends them home. When God tells Samuel to speak about the rules of kingship, he is very selective and again attempts to dissuade the people.
Nor does Samuel inform the people that God has given consent for them to have a King 8: In Chapter 10, Samuel anoints Saul as nagid, not as king v. He tries to intimidate the people into not accepting a king vv. In Chapter 12, he again tries to dissuade the people from accepting a monarchy. Samuel instructs Saul, as the word of God: If herem here connotes destruction, then the two orders are merely repetition. Otherwise, there are two different commands here; first consecrate the Amalekites and then kill them.
We will see the importance of this shortly. Whether the command s indeed originate from God, or this is a "mishearing" by Samuel, will never be known.
Saul makes war on Amalek and crushes it. Agag, King of Amalek, is captured and brought to Gilgal. The best of the sheep and cattle are reserved for sacrifice; the rest are slaughtered, as are the asses and camels. Now we have the direct word of God: We are told that Samuel cried -- yet we are not told what he cried about.
Did he implore God to forgive the offender, as Moses always did?
If this indeed is a valid interpretation, then either Samuel misrepresented God in using the word herem or God was intentionally being ambiguous. The use of two words suggests two different commands, distinguishing between "herem" and "kill. Samuel sarcastically replies 'Then what is this bleating of sheep in my ears? Samuel accuses him of disobeying the Lord, and Saul rejects the accusation: He argues that he obeyed the command by putting those not killed into herem.
Samuel retorts that it is better to obey than to sacrifice, for rebellion is idolatry. Saul, bested once again by Samuel, says: I pray you to pardon my sin'. Saul assumed that he had carried out the command of the Lord. He had not yet killed King Agag, or slaughtered all of the cattle, because he meant to slay Agag in front of the altar. Some of the beasts, he noted, had been taken by the people, who perhaps wanted them for themselves.
He was strong enough a leader to to command them to sacrifice these beasts placed under herem. His inadequacy in leadership may have derived in part from some lack of core identity, and in part from Samuel's undermining his position since the start of his reign. Nevertheless, he got the cattle to the altar and devised a plan to sacrifice them. Samuel may have created Saul's problem by suggesting there were two separate commands in "herem" and "kill.
He indicts him for rebellion and idolatry. Even if Saul had disobeyed God which given the ambiguity of the situation he made not have done he had not committed idolatry. Moses had often persuaded God to withdraw decrees of punishment. Samuel, who compared himself to Moses. Does not appeal to God o forgive Saul. It seems as though Samuel himself cannot forgive the people for rejecting him, and Saul is the embodiment of that rejection. Samuel goes to Jesse and interviews his sons in the order of their birth.
And who did not come to fight over Gibeah for the Levite? The people of Jebash-Gilead. What an odd way to introduce the first coming victory of the new King. The battle is won. Then a very strange statement appears in the text. What does this mean? He simple hears people crying about some disaster. There is no recognition that Saul is King-elect. Verse 12 can imply that the people want Saul to be Judge and are rejecting kingship.
Or perhaps it refers to those in the previous chapter who spurned Saul 1 Sam. Samuel then says in response let us go to Gilgal to renew the monarchy.
And they went and Saul was finally crowned King.
- Saul stays with Samuel
- Samuel and Saul, Seer and Sovereign
- Books of Samuel
However Samuel did not acquiesce so readily. Samuel says I have done as you wished and crowned a king for you. But he does say I am old, you have a king and my sons are still here. How are the people to respond to the words my sons are still here?
Samuel then asks have I ever taken an ox or oppressed you? The people confirm that he did not. Conversely his sons were accused of having received bribes during their judgeships. He then compares himself to Moses and Aaron and other judges. But Samuel says fear not, God will not forsake His people.
Unless you do wrong in which case He will destroy you and your King. Samuel then says he will continue to act for God and protect their interests. Samuel is setting up the new system of prophet-ship under the monarchy. How should this speech be understood?
It is clearly self defensive. He still does not recognize that the people were right in terms of his sons. Samuel dies at the age of 52 according to Jewish Midrashim and his family sons and his legacy his chosen king Saul are destroyed.
Is his death at a relatively young age a further criticism of him? Samuel feels rejected and King Saul is the symbol of that rejection. Samuel as we shall see later regarding Saul, used his power, position and charisma to convince the people that he is right and the people ought to feel sinful and guilty.
Why is the newly crowned king unable to raise a sufficient army to fight the Philistines? Why does Saul fail immediately upon being crowned? Why does he wait at Gilgal? Saul waits for seven days as his army deserts him - they now only men. Saul responds that my army has been deserted me and you had not come. Otherwise the Lord would have established your dynasty over Israel forever.
The Lord will seek a man after His own heart It is difficult to understand this development. He prepared the sacrifice himself. He did not wait for the High Priest. This same High Priest we have learnt from a Jewish Midrash, that it was not necessary for a priest to prepare the sacrifice.
By noting that Samuel himself had told people they could prepare the sacrifice themselves, the Midrashic author is stating that what Saul did was acceptable. Why should a two year old request be valid now in a critical stage of war? Was Samuel just waiting for Saul to begin so he could criticize him? It was Samuel who failed to come at the appointed time. God does not speak in this entire chapter. Were their conditions for Saul to fulfill and if so what were they?
1 Samuel 1–15
As we will see in the first verse of chapter 15, the rejection seems forgotten. Has Samuel and not God, disowned Saul? Saul, the servile son of Kish, intimidated and diminished as he is by Samuel, cannot even respond. Is this treatment by Samuel befitting towards the King of Israel? We see Saul acting foolishly as a Commander allowing his army to desert while he awaits Samuel. When Samuel finally arrives he intimidates Saul and cannot even respond to his statement that God disowned his kingship.
His son, Jonathan, is depicted as heroic and courageous. Samuel, on the other hand seems to enjoy playing with Saul, knowing how intimidated Saul is of him. He waits to the last moment to appear in Gilgal for the sacrifices.
The Law, the Prophets and the Writings, Part Samuel and Saul, Seer and Sovereign
But Saul had very good reasons. Samuel then declares, in the name of God, that God has forsaken Saul and chosen another King.
Both were treated with special treatment compared to their siblings and other children and thought of themselves as god-like. God never speaks to Joseph, but does, according to our text, speak to Samuel. Samuel, however as we have already noted and will note again, often does not listen very well; an odd perspective for a prophet of God.
Chapter 14 introduces Jonathan, the son of Saul. His father, having lost Samuel, his father figure, feels rejected by God. In the midst of the battle, he creates his own ritual; he vows his army to fast. This term is as odd in Hebrew as in English; it appears as if nature was violating the common sense. The people are so hungry that, the text tells us, they eat animals with the blood. Saul decides to discover who has sinned. They use a lot and it is Jonathan.
Jonathan seems sarcastic to his foolish father. You shall be put to death, Jonathan! The army refused to kill Jonathan. We do not hear God himself and therefore do not know His exact words. In Chapter 8, God tells Samuel three times verses 7, 9 and 22 to listen to the voice of the people and accept a king. Samuel, however does not to listen, tries to dissuade them from their desire for a king and sends them home.
When God tells Samuel to speak about the rules of kingship, he is very selective and again attempts to dissuade the people. Nor does Samuel inform the people that God has consented for them to have a King 8: In Chapter 12 Samuel again tries to dissuade the people against accepting a monarchy. Samuel instructs Saul, as the word of God: However it is not a repetition.
Samuel utters two separate commands, first to consecrate and then to kill. We will see the importance of this shortly. Saul makes war on Amalek and crushes them. Saul and the army took Agag, King of Amalek and the best of the sheep and cattle and brought them to Gilgal; the remainder were killed. The use of two words suggested two different commands; Samuel should simply have said kill them all. Samuel says you disobeyed the Lord. Samuel responds by saying to obey is better than sacrificing, for rebellion is idolatry.
Saul defeated once again by the charismatic Samuel says I have sinned. I pray you to pardon my sin. When Saul saw Samuel he assumed he had obeyed the Lord. He had killed all but the King and much of the cattle. He notes that the people had some of the animals.
Perhaps the people wanted to save some cattle for themselves. Despite this he cleverly brought the cattle to the altar and devised a plan to sacrifice them. God has just told us he changed his mind relative to Saul Does Samuel not know the story of Moses? God often, if not always repents when asked to by Moses? Why does Samuel not ask God to forgive Saul? Because Samuel can never forgive the people for rejecting him and Saul became the symbol of this rejection.
Saul conceded that he has sinned. But Saul as we have seen finally responds to Samuel which he was unable to do in previous Gilgal incident and is then accused of rebellion and idolatry. His servile personality collapses and he begs forgiveness. And of course, his plea is rejected.
As noted by Fokkelmann at the beginning of his reign and at the end of his reign the question arises is Saul a prophet, subservient to Samuel or the King of Israel. Samuel goes to Jesse and interviews his sons in their birth order. Is God stating that indeed Samuel or the people mis-chose Saul, being impressed by his height as God clearly is not?
Why not the prophet? A seer in English as in Hebrew is one who can see. What is the purpose of the text that he who is a prophet was called a seer? Samson is blind to his mission when he is sighted and only when blinded carries out his mission. In the second verse This is faint praise for the last Judge and first king-maker. The second verse combined Samuel the prophet with Saul the failed king. What do we know of his biological father Kish? Saul is the son of a rich father, he is an adult with an adult son, Jonathan.
Yet his father sends him off to find two lost donkeys with a servant who carries the money. Why not just send the servant to look after the donkeys. When he meets Samuel he finds another father figure. Do we have an Oedipal conflict between the surrogate father Samuel and the son Saul and then once again with Saul as the father and David as the son. This issue of father and son will recur in the relationship between Saul and David. After David slays Goliath Saul asks three times whose son is he 1 Sam.
They have met both when David heals Saul and to discuss the slaying of Goliath. Twice David allows Saul to escape after Saul attempted to kill him. In both instances Saul calls David my son David enters the stage as Samuel departs. David distinguishes himself in the Philistine wars.
Upon David's return from battle, the women praise him in song: Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands  implying that David is the greater warrior. Saul fears David's growing popularity and henceforth views him as a rival to the throne. Saul's son Jonathan and David become close friends.
Jonathan recognizes David as the rightful king, and "made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. On two occasions, Saul threw a spear at David as he played the harp for Saul.
David becomes increasingly successful and Saul becomes increasingly resentful. Now Saul actively plots against David. Saul offered his other daughter, Michal in marriage to David. David initially rejects this offer also, claiming he is too poor. Saul offers to accept a bride price of Philistine foreskinsintending that David die in the attempt.
Instead, David obtains foreskins and is consequently married to Michal. Jonathan arranges a short-lived reconciliation between Saul and David and for a while David served Saul "as in times past" 1 Samuel Saul sends assassins in the night, but Michal helps him escape, tricking them by placing a household idol in his bed. David flees to Jonathan, who arranges a meeting with his father.
While dining with Saul, Jonathan explains David's absence, saying he has been called away to his brothers. But Saul sees through the ruse and reprimands Jonathan for protecting David, warning him that his love of David will cost him the kingdom, furiously throwing a spear at him. The next day, Jonathan meets with David and tells him Saul's intent. The two friends say their goodbyes, and David flees into the countryside.
Saul later marries Michal to another man. Saul is later informed by his head shepherd, Doeg the Edomitethat high priest Ahimelech assisted David, giving him the sword of Goliath, which had been kept at the temple at Nob.
Doeg kills Ahimelech and eighty-five other priests and Saul orders the death of the entire population of Nob. David had left Nob by this point and had amassed some disaffected men including some outlaws. With these men David rescues the town of Keilah from a Philistine attack. Saul realises he could trap David and his men by laying the city to siege. David realizes that the citizens of Keilah will betray him to Saul.
He flees to Ziph pursued by Saul. Saul hunts David in the vicinity of Ziph on two occasions: Some of the inhabitants of Ziph betray David's location to Saul, but David hears about it and flees with his men to Maon. Saul follows David, but is forced to break off pursuit when the Philistines invade. After dealing with that threat Saul tracks David to the caves at Engedi. As he searches the cave David manages to cut off a piece of Saul's robe without being discovered, yet David restrains his men from harming the king.
David then leaves the cave, revealing himself to Saul, and gives a speech that persuades Saul to reconcile. On the second occasion, Saul returns to Ziph with his men. When David hears of this, he slips into Saul's camp by night, and again restrains his men from killing the king; instead he steals Saul's spear and water jug, leaving his own spear thrust into the ground by Saul's side.
The next day, David reveals himself to Saul, showing the jug and spear as proof that he could have slain him. David then persuades Saul to reconcile with him; the two swear never to harm each other.
After this they never see each other again. Battle of Gilboa and the death of King Saul[ edit ] The Battle of Gilboa, by Jean Fouquetthe protagonists depicted anachronistically with 15th Century armour The Philistines make war again, assembling at Shunemand Saul leads his army to face them at Mount Gilboa. Before the battle he goes to consult a medium or witch at Endor. The medium, unaware of his identity, reminds him that the king has made witchcraft a capital offencebut he assures her that Saul will not harm her.
She conjures the spirit of the prophet Samuelwho before his death had prophesied that he would lose the kingdom. Samuel tells him that God has fully rejected him, will no longer hear his prayers, has given the kingdom to David and that the next day he will lose both the battle and his life. Saul collapses in fear, and the medium restores him with food in anticipation of the next day's battle.
In 1 Samuel, and in a parallel account in 1 Chronicles 10, as the defeated Israelites flee, Saul asks his armour bearer to kill him, but he refuses, and so Saul falls upon his own sword.
David has the Amalekite put to death for accusing himself of killing the anointed king. The victorious Philistines recover Saul's body as well as those of his three sons who also died in the battle, decapitated them and displayed them on the wall of Beth-shan. They display Saul's armour in the temple of Ashtaroth an Ascalonian temple of the Canaanites. But at night the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead retrieve the bodies for cremation and burial 1 Samuel Later on, David takes the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan and buries them in Zela, in the tomb of his father 2 Samuel Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.
The birth-narrative of the prophet Samuel is found at 1 Samuel 1— It describes how Samuel's mother Hannah requests a son from Yahwehand dedicates the child to God at the shrine of Shiloh. The passage makes extensive play with the root-elements of Saul's name, and ends with the phrase hu sa'ul le-Yahweh, "he is dedicated to Yahweh.