The account of Saul’s life comes from the Old Testament book of I Samuel. The son of Kish, a well-to-do member of the tribe of Benjamin, he was made king by the league of 12 Israelite tribes in a desperate effort to strengthen Hebrew resistance to the growing Philistine threat.
The Tribe of Benjamin, located to the north of Judah but to the south of the northern Kingdom of Israel, is significant in biblical narratives as a source of various Israelite leaders, including the first Israelite king, Saul, as well as earlier tribal leaders in the period of the Judges.
They spared King Agag because in this time captured kings were a prized trophy of war. By conducting this raid as if it were ordinary warfare that he was directing, Saul once again usurped a divine prerogative and misrepresented the character of divine judgment, which doesn’t privilege the powerful and the beautiful.
Therefore, this is a demonic idea. Saul’s motive is made clear. He is banking on the fact that it is not easy to collect one Philistine foreskin, let alone one hundred! Philistines, and men in general, tend to be fairly protective of that which is rightly theirs to protect.
Saul’s only surviving son, Ishbaal, was anointed as his successor, supported by the northern tribes. But the southern elders went to Hebron, David’s military base, and in due course anointed David king “over the house of Judah.”
These are the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, and Ephraim; all but Judah and Benjamin (as well as some members of Levi, the priestly tribe which did not have its own territory).
Of these 12, only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin survived. The 10 “lost tribes ” are the ones that inhabited the kingdom of Israel but were exiled by the king of Assyria, who conquered Israel in 721 B.C. Historians and biblical scholars have come up with numerous theories on the ultimate fate of these people.
Saul’s life and reign are described primarily in the Hebrew Bible. According to the text, he was anointed by the prophet Samuel and reigned from Gibeah. He fell on his sword (committing suicide) to avoid capture in the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, during which three of his sons were also killed.
‘ Saul, also known as Paul ‘ (Acts 13.9) Another important element of Luke’s allusion is that in the ﬁrst 12 chapters of Acts, the Israelite king and Paul are called by the same name – Saul. Many Acts scholars, however, consider the shared name to be coincidental.
Saul was chosen to lead the Israelites against their enemies, but when faced with Goliath he refuses to do so; Saul is a head taller than anyone else in all Israel (1 Samuel 9:2), which implies he was over 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and the obvious challenger for Goliath, yet David is the one who eventually defeated him.
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD.
The Book of Samuel states that Jesse had eight sons, naming the first three as Eliab, Abinadab and Shammah, and David as the youngest. The Book of Chronicles names seven sons of Jesse—Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem and David—as well as two daughters, Zeruiah and Abigail.
Saul, Jonathan, and Jonathan’s brothers were killed in a battle against the Philistines at Mt. Gilboa. Despoiled and exposed by the Philistines, the bodies were rescued by men from Jabesh-gilead and buried in Jabesh.
Nathan was a court prophet who lived in the time of King David. Later, he came to David to reprimand him for committing adultery with Bathsheba while she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, whose death the King had also arranged to hide his previous transgression (2 Samuel 12:7–14).