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This article is about King Saul, the biblical figure. For other uses, see Saul (disambiguation).
David Plays the Harp for Saul, by Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1658.

According to the Hebrew Bible, Saul (/sɔːl/; Hebrew: שָׁאוּל, Šāʼûl ; "asked for, prayed for"; Latin: Saul; Arabic: طالوت‎, Ṭālūt or Arabic: شاؤل‎, Shā'ūl) was the first king of a united Kingdom of Israel and Judah. His reign, traditionally placed in the late 11th century BCE,[1] would have marked a switch from a tribal society to statehood.[2]

The oldest accounts of Saul's life and reign are found in the Hebrew Bible. He was reluctantly anointed by the prophet Samuel in response to a popular movement to establish a monarchy, and reigned from Gibeah. After initial successes he lost favor with Samuel and God because of his disobedience to God. His son-in-law, David, was chosen by God to be a king. He fell on his sword (committed suicide) to avoid capture at the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. He was succeeded by his son, Ish-bosheth, whose brief reign was successfully contested by David. A similar yet different account of Saul's life is given in the Qur'an. Neither the length of Saul's reign, nor the extent of his territory are given in the Biblical account; the former is traditionally fixed at twenty or twenty-two years, but there is no reliable evidence for these numbers.[1]

Biblical account[edit]

The Biblical accounts of Saul's life are found in the Books of Samuel. The narrative is thought to be composed from various sources by a redactor, because the text contains various internal inconsistencies, to the point that his biography is "often embarrassingly confusing" (say Jacobs et al. in the Jewish Encyclopedia).[3]

House of King Saul[edit]

According to the Tanakh, Saul was the son of Kish, of the family of the Matrites, and a member of the tribe of Benjamin, one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. (1 Samuel 9:1–2; 10:21; 14:51) It appears that he came from Gibeah.[3]

David and Saul (1885) by Julius Kronberg.

Saul married Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz. They had four sons and two daughters. The sons were Jonathan, Abinadab, Malchishua and Ish-bosheth. Their daughters were named Merab and Michal.[4]

Saul also had a concubine named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, who bore him two sons, Armoni and Mephibosheth. (2 Samuel 21:8)

Saul offered Merab to David as a wife after his victory over Goliath, but David was not interested in the arrangement. (1 Samuel 18:17–19) Saul then gave his other daughter Michal in marriage to David, (1 Samuel 18:20–27) but when David became Saul's rival to the kingship, Saul gave Michal in marriage to Palti, son of Laish. (1 Samuel 25:44)

Saul died at the Battle of Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:3–6; 1 Chronicles 10:3–6), and was buried in Zelah, in the region of Benjamin. (2 Samuel 21:14) Three of Saul's sons – Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua – died with him at Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:2; 1 Chronicles 10:2). Ish-bosheth became king of Israel, at the age of forty, but was killed by Bannah and Recab after hearing of Abner's death. (2 Samuel 2:10) Michal was returned as a wife to David, but was not granted any children as she disgraced David later on.

Ish-bosheth reigned for two years and was killed by two of his own captains. (2 Samuel 4:5)

Armoni and Mephibosheth (Saul's sons with his concubine, Rizpah) were given by David along with the five sons of Merab (Saul's daughter)[5] to the Gibeonites, who killed them. (2 Samuel 21:8–9) Michal was childless. (2 Samuel 6:23)

The only male descendant of Saul to survive was Mephibosheth, Jonathan's lame son, (2 Samuel 4:4) who had been five when his father and grandfather Saul had died in battle. In time, he came under the protection of David. (2 Samuel 9:7–13) Mephibosheth had a young son, Micah, (2 Samuel 9:12) who had four sons and descendants named until the ninth generation (1 Chronicle 8:35–38).

Anointed as king[edit]

"Death of King Saul", 1848 by Elie Marcuse (Germany and France, 1817–1902).

The prophet Samuel is judge of Israel, but his sons are dishonest and untrustworthy. The leaders of the Israelites fear that it would be disastrous if his sons follow in his footsteps as judges and request that Samuel give them a king. Samuel seems to resent this request and warns them in detail of the oppression they can expect under a monarchy. Meanwhile, Saul, a young Israelite, is commanded by his father, Kish, to go and look for their lost donkeys. Samuel is told by God that he will meet Saul from the land of Benjamin the following day and that he is to anoint him as ruler over the people of Israel.[3]

The Books of Samuel give three differing accounts of Saul's rise to the throne:

  • Saul is sent with a servant to look for his father's strayed donkeys. Leaving his home at Gibeah, they eventually arrive at the district of Zuph, at which point Saul suggests abandoning their search. Saul's servant tells him that they happen to be near the town of Ramah, where a famous seer is located, and suggests that they should consult him first. The seer (later identified by the text as Samuel) offers hospitality to Saul and later anoints him in private.[6]
  • A popular movement having arisen to establish a centralized monarchy like other nations, Samuel reluctantly assembles the people at Mizpah in Benjamin to appoint a king. After having been chosen as monarch, Saul returns to his home in Gibeah, along with a number of followers.[7]
  • The Ammonites, led by Nahash, lay siege to Jabesh-Gilead, which is forced to surrender. Under the terms of surrender, the occupants of the city are to be forced into slavery and have their right eyes removed. Instead they send word of this to the other tribes of Israel, and the tribes west of the Jordan assemble an army under Saul. Saul leads the army to victory over the Ammonites, and the people congregate at Gilgal where they acclaim Saul as king and he is crowned.[6]
  • Saul was crowned as king (melech) in Gilgal. (1 Samuel 11:14–12:2)

Saul among the prophets[edit]

Having been anointed by Samuel, Saul is told of signs indicating that he has been divinely appointed. The last of these is that Saul will be met by an ecstatic group of prophets leaving a high place and playing the lyre, tambourine, and flutes. Saul encounters the ecstatic prophets and joins them.[7] Later, Saul sends men to pursue David, but when they meet this group of ecstatic prophets playing music, they become possessed by a prophetic state and join in. Saul sends more men, but they too join the prophets. Eventually Saul himself goes, and also joins the prophets. (1 Samuel 19:24)

Military victories[edit]

After relieving the siege of Jabesh-Gilead, Saul conducts military campaigns against the: Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, and the kings of Zobah, the Philistines, and the Amalekites.[3]


Saul and the Witch of Endor by Gustave Dore.

According to 1 Samuel 10:8, Samuel had told Saul to wait for a week after which they would meet and he would give Saul further instructions. But when a week passes without Samuel, (1 Samuel 13:8) and with the Israelites growing restless, Saul prepares for battle by offering sacrifices. Samuel arrives just as Saul is finishing sacrificing and reprimands Saul for not obeying his instructions.

After the battle with the Philistines was over, the text describes Samuel as having instructed Saul to kill all the Amalekites. Having forewarned the Kenites who were living among the Amalekites to leave, Saul goes to war and defeats the Amalekites. Saul kills all the men, women, children and poor quality livestock, but leaves alive the king and best livestock. When Samuel learns that Saul has not obeyed his instructions he informs Saul that God has rejected him as king due to his disobedience. As Samuel turns to go, Saul seizes hold of his garments and tears off a piece; Samuel prophecies that the kingdom will likewise be torn from Saul. Samuel then kills the Amalekite king himself 1 Samuel 15:33 and leaves Saul for the last time.

Saul and David[edit]

David and Saul, by Ernst Josephson

After Samuel tells Saul that God has rejected him as king, David, a son of Jesse, from the tribe of Judah, enters the story: from this point on Saul's story is largely the account of his increasingly troubled relationship with David.

  • (1 Samuel 16:1–13) Samuel is surreptitiously sent by God to Jesse. While offering a sacrifice in the vicinity, Samuel includes Jesse among the invited guests. Dining together, Jesse's sons are brought one by one to Samuel, each time being rejected by him, speaking for God; running out of sons, Jesse sends for David, the youngest, who was tending sheep. When brought to Samuel, David is anointed by him in front of his other brothers.
  • (1 Samuel 16:14–23) Saul is troubled by an evil spirit sent by God. He requests soothing music, and a servant recommends David the son of Jesse, who is renowned as a skillful harpist and soldier. When word of Saul's needs reach Jesse, he sends David, who had been looking after a flock, and David is appointed as Saul's armor bearer and remains at court playing the harp as needed to calm Saul during his troubled spells.
  • (1 Samuel 17:1–18:5) The Philistines return with an army to attack Israel, and the Philistine and Israelite forces gather on opposite sides of a valley. The Philistine's gigantic champion Goliath challenges the Israelite army to send their champion to fight with him. David is described as a young shepherd boy who happens to be delivering food to his three eldest brothers in the army, and he hears Goliath's challenge. David speaks mockingly of the Philistines to some soldiers; his speech is overheard and reported to Saul, who summons David and appoints David as his champion. David easily defeats Goliath with a single shot from a sling. At the end of the passage, Saul asks his general, Abner, who David is.

Saul's son Jonathan becomes David's dearest friend. Jonathan recognizes David as the rightful king, and 1 Samuel 18 states "Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul."[8] Jonathan even gives David his military clothes, symbolizing David's position as successor to Saul.

God makes David successful wherever Saul sends him. Therefore, Saul sets David in charge of the army. 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 threatening David, by José Leonardo.

In one incident, David plays the harp for Saul, who—possessed by an evil spirit—throws a spear at him but misses twice. Saul removes David from the court by sending him into the field at the head of the army, but David becomes increasingly successful and Saul becomes increasingly resentful. Saul offers his daughter Merob to David as a wife, but David protests that he is unworthy to marry the king's daughter and Merob is married to a different man. When Saul's other daughter Michal falls in love with David, Saul offers him her hand. David initially rejects this offer also, this time claiming he is too impoverished to marry her. Saul offers to accept the unusual bride price of only 100 Philistines foreskins, intending that David die trying to remove them. Instead, David obtains 200 foreskins and is consequently married to Michal.

Now Saul actively plots against David, but without success due to Jonathan's help. 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. 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 Edomite, that 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 furthermore massacres the entire population of Nob.

David had already left Nob by this point and had amassed some 400 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. Upon receiving divine council (via the Ephod), David learns 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. David hears of this he slips into Saul's camp by night, and again refrains 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 Fouquet, the protagonists depicted anachronistically with 15th Century armour

The Philistines make war again, and Saul leads out his army to face them at Mount Gilboa. Before the battle he goes to consult the witch of Endor. The witch, unaware of his identity, reminds him that the king has made witchcraft a capital offence, but he assures her that Saul will not harm her. She conjures the spirit of the prophet Samuel, who before his death (1 Samuel 25:1; 28:3) had both anointed Saul king and prophesied that he would lose the kingdom. Samuel tells him that God will no longer hear his prayers and that the next day he will lose both the battle and his life.

1 Samuel and 2 Samuel give conflicting accounts of Saul's death. In the former, as the defeated Israelites flee, Saul asks his armour bearer to kill him, but he refuses and so Saul falls upon his own sword. In 2 Samuel, an Amalekite tells David he found Saul leaning on his spear after the battle and delivered the coup de grâce. David has the Amalekite put to death for rejoicing in the death of 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 31:8–13). Later on, David takes the bones of Saul together and of his son Jonathan and buries them in Zela, in the tomb of his father (2 Samuel 21:12–14).[9]

Biblical criticism[edit]

There are several textual or narrative issues in the text, and plays on words, that biblical scholars have discussed.

The birth-narrative of the prophet Samuel is found at 1 Samuel 1–28. It describes how Samuel's mother Hannah requests a son from Yahweh, and 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." Hannah names the resulting son Samuel, giving as her explanation, "because from God I requested him." Samuel's name, however, can mean "name of God," (or "Heard of God" or "Told of God") and the etymology and multiple references to the root of the name seems to fit Saul instead. The majority explanation for the discrepancy is that the narrative originally described the birth of Saul, and was given to Samuel in order to enhance the position of David and Samuel at the former king's expense.[10]

In the Books of Samuel, Saul is not referred to as a king (melech), but rather as a "leader" or "commander" (nagid) (1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1).[11] However (possibly representing an opposing literary strain[citation needed]), Saul is said to be made a "king" (melech) at Gilgal (1 Samuel 11:15). Even David, before he was anointed king, was referred to only as a future nagid, or military commander (1 Samuel 13:14).

Various authors have attempted to harmonize the two narratives regarding Saul's death. Josephus writes that Saul's attempted suicide was stalled because he was not able to run the sword through himself, and that he therefore asked the Amalekite to finish it.[12] Later biblical criticism has posited that the story of Saul's death was redacted from various sources, although this view in turn has been criticized because it does not explain why the contradiction was left in by the redactors.[12] But since 2 Samuel records only the Amalekite's report, and not the report of any other eye-witness, some scholars theorize that the Amalekite may have been lying to try to gain favor with David. On this view, 1 Samuel records what actually happened, while 2 Samuel records what the Amalekite claims happened.[13]

Classical rabbinical views[edit]

Two opposing views of Saul are found in classical rabbinical literature. One is based on the reverse logic that punishment is a proof of guilt, and therefore seeks to rob Saul of any halo which might surround him; typically this view is similar to the republican source. The passage referring to Saul as a choice young man, and goodly (1 Samuel 9:2) is in this view interpreted as meaning that Saul was not good in every respect, but goodly only with respect to his personal appearance (Num. Rashi 9:28). According to this view, Saul is only a weak branch (Gen. Rashi 25:3), owing his kingship not to his own merits, but rather to his grandfather, who had been accustomed to light the streets for those who went to the bet ha-midrash, and had received as his reward the promise that one of his grandsons should sit upon the throne (Lev. Rashi 9:2).

The second view of Saul makes him appear in the most favourable light as man, as hero, and as king. This view is similar to that of the monarchical source. In this view it was on account of his modesty that he did not reveal the fact that he had been anointed king (1 Samuel 10:16; Meg. 13b); and he was extraordinarily upright as well as perfectly just. Nor was there any one more pious than he (M. Q. 16b; Ex. Rashi 30:12); for when he ascended the throne he was as pure as a child, and had never committed sin (Yoma 22b). He was marvelously handsome; and the maidens who told him concerning Samuel (cf 1 Samuel 9:11–13) talked so long with him that they might observe his beauty the more (Ber. 48b). In war he was able to march 120 miles without rest. When he received the command to smite Amalek (1 Samuel 15:3), Saul said: For one found slain the Torah requires a sin offering [Deuteronomy 21:1–9]; and here so many shall be slain. If the old have sinned, why should the young suffer; and if men have been guilty, why should the cattle be destroyed? It was this mildness that cost him his crown. And while Saul was merciful to his enemies, he was strict with his own people; when he found out that Avimelech, a kohen, had assisted David with finding food, Saul, in retaliation, killed the rest of the 85 kohanim of the family of Avimelech and the rest of his hometown, Nov. (Yoma 22b; Num. Rashi 1:10) The fact that he was merciful even to his enemies, being indulgent to rebels themselves, and frequently waiving the homage due to him, was incredible as well as deceiving. But if his mercy toward a foe was a sin, it was his only one; and it was his misfortune that it was reckoned against him, while David, although he had committed much iniquity, was so favored that it was not remembered to his injury (Yoma 22b; M. Q. 16b, and Rashi ad loc.). In some respects Saul was superior to David, e.g., in having only one concubine {Rizpah}, while David had many. Saul expended his own substance for the war, and although he knew that he and his sons would fall in battle, he nevertheless went forward, while David heeded the wish of his soldiers not to go to war in person (2 Samuel 21:17; Lev. Rashi 26:7; Yalq., Sam. 138).

According to the Rabbis, Saul ate his food with due regard for the rules of ceremonial purity prescribed for the sacrifice (Yalq., l.c.), and taught the people how they should slay cattle (cf 1 Samuel 14:34). As a reward for this, God himself gave Saul a sword on the day of battle, since no other sword suitable for him was found (ibid 13:22). Saul's attitude toward David finds its excuse in the fact that his courtiers were all tale-bearers, and slandered David to him (Deut. Rashi 5:10); and in like manner he was incited by Doeg against the priests of Nob (1 Samuel 22:16–19; Yalq., Sam. 131)—this act was forgiven him, however, and a heavenly voice (bat qol) was heard, proclaiming: Saul is the chosen one of God (Ber. 12b). His anger at the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:2) was not personal hatred, but was induced by zeal for the welfare of Israel (Num. Rashi 8:4). The fact that he made his daughter remarry (1 Samuel 25:44), finds its explanation in his (Saul's) view that her betrothal to David had been gained by false pretenses, and was therefore invalid (Sanhedrin 19b). During the lifetime of Saul there was no idolatry in Israel. The famine in the reign of David (cf 2 Samuel 21:1) was to punish the people, because they had not accorded Saul the proper honours at his burial (Num. Rashi 8:4). In Sheol, Samuel reveals to Saul that in the next world, Saul would dwell with Samuel, which is a proof that all has been forgiven him by God('Er. 53ba]

In Islam[edit]

Muslims refer to Saul as Tālūt (Arabic: طالوت‎), and believe that (as in the Bible) he was the commander of Israel. According to the Qur'an, Saul was chosen by the prophet Samuel (not mentioned by name explicitly but rather as "a Prophet" of the Israelites) after being asked by the people of Israel for a king to lead them into war. The Israelites criticized Samuel for appointing Saul, lacking respect for Saul because he was not wealthy. Samuel rebuked the people for this and told them that Saul was far more favored than they were. Saul led the Israelites to victory over the army of Goliath, who was killed by David. Saul is not considered a prophet, but a divinely appointed king.


The name Tālūt has uncertain etymology. Unlike some other Qur'anic figures, the Arabic name is not similar to the Hebrew name (Sha'ul). According to Muslim exegetes, the name Tālūt means 'tall' (from the Arabic "tūl") and refers to the extraordinary stature of Saul, which would be consistent with the Biblical account.[14] In explanation of the name, exegetes such as Tha'labi hold that at this time, the future king of Israel was to be recognised by his height; Samuel set up a measure, but no one in Israel reached its height except Tālūt (Saul).

Saul as the first king[edit]

In the Qur'an, Israel demanded a king after the time of Moses. God appointed Saul as their king. Saul was distinguished by the greatness of his knowledge and of his physique; it was a sign of his role as king that God brought back the Ark of the Covenant for Israel. Saul tested his people at a river; whoever drank from it would not follow him in battle excepting one who takes [from it] in the hollow of his hand.[Quran 2:249] Many drank but only the faithful ventured on. In the battle, however, David slew Goliath and was made the subsequent king of Israel.

The Qur'anic account differs slightly from the Biblical account in that in the Bible the sacred Ark was returned to Israel before Saul's accession, and the test by drinking water is made in the Hebrew Bible not by Saul but by Gideon.[15]


The historicity of Saul's kingdom is not universally accepted.[1][16] The notion of a United Monarchy of Israel and Judah is probably a later ideological construct; statehood in Judah is thought, on the basis of archaeological evidence, to have emerged no earlier than the 8th century BCE.[1]

Psychological analyses[edit]

Accounts of Saul's behavior have made him a popular subject for speculation among modern psychiatrists. George Stein views the passages depicting Saul's ecstatic episodes as suggesting that Saul may have suffered from mania.[17] Martin Huisman sees the story of Saul as illustrative of the role of stress as a factor in depression.[18] Liubov Ben-Noun of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, believes that passages referring to King Saul's disturbed behavior indicate he was afflicted by a mental disorder, and lists a number of possible conditions.[19] However, Christopher C. H. Cook of the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK recommends caution in offering any diagnoses in relation to people who lived millennia ago.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Finkelstein, Isreal (2006). "The Last Labayu: King Saul and the Expansion of the First North Israelite Territorial Entity". In Amit, Yairah; Ben Zvi, Ehud; Finkelstein, Isreal; et al. Essays on Ancient Israel in Its Near Eastern Context: A Tribute to Nadav Naʼaman. Eisenbrauns. pp. 171 ff. ISBN 9781575061283. 
  2. ^ Van der Toorn, Karel (1993). "Saul and the rise of Israelite state religion". Vetus Testamentum. XLIII (4). JSTOR 1518499. 
  3. ^ a b c d Jacobs, Joseph; Price, Ira Maurice; Singer, Isidore; Lauterbach, Jacob Zallel (1906). "Saul". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  4. ^ 1 Samuel 14:51 lists three sons – Jonathan, and Ishvi, and Malchi-shua – and the two daughters. But see also 2 Samuel 2:8 and 1 Chronicles 8:33.
  5. ^ Some Hebrew versions say that the five sons were Michal's – e.g., 2 Samuel 21:8–9
  6. ^ a b Driscoll, James F. (1912). "Saul". The Catholic Encyclopedia 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Saul, First King of Israel",
  8. ^ "1 Samuel 18 ; ESV – David and Jonathan's Friendship". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  9. ^ G. Darshan, "The Reinterment of Saul and Jonathan's Bones (II Sam 21, 12–14) in Light of Ancient Greek Hero-Cult Stories", ZAW, 125,4 (2013), 640–645.
  10. ^ The idea was originally advanced in the 19th century, and has most recently been elaborated in Kyle McCarter's influential commentary on I Samuel (P. Kyle McCarter, "I Samuel: A New Translation with Introduction, Notes and Commentary", Anchor Bible Series, 1980)
  11. ^ Bright, John, A History of Israel, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1972, p. 185.
  12. ^ a b Bill T. Arnold (1989). "The Amalekite report of Saul's death: political intrigue or incompatible sources?" (PDF). J. Evangelical Theological Society 32 (3): 289–298. 
  13. ^ Life Application Study Bible: Note on 2 Samuel 1:13
  14. ^ Leaman, Oliver, The Quran, An Encyclopedia, 2006, p.638.
  15. ^ Judges vii. 5-7
  16. ^ Baruch Halpern (2003). David's Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Wm. B. Eerdmans. pp. 208–211. 
  17. ^ "Stein, George. "The case of King Saul: did he have recurrent unipolar depression or bipolar affective disorder? – psychiatry in the Old Testament", The British Journal of Psychiatry (2011), 198: p.212". Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Huisman, Martin. "King Saul, work‐related stress and depression", Journal of Epidemiol Community Health, 2007 October; 61(10): 890". Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "Ben-Noun, Liubov. "What was the Mental Disease that Afflicted King Saul?", Clinical Case Studies, October 2003 vol. 2 no. 4 pp.270-282". Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "Cook, Christopher C.H., "Psychiatry in scripture: sacred texts and psychopathology", The Psychiatrist (2012) 36: pp.225-229". Retrieved 15 September 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Saul at Wikimedia Commons
Saul of the United Kingdom of Israel & Judah
House of Saul
Cadet branch of the Tribe of Benjamin
Regnal titles
New title
Anointed king to
replace Judge Samuel
King of the United Kingdom
of Israel and Judah

1047 BC – 1007 BC
Succeeded by
Ish-bosheth, David