A character in the Hebrew Bible
. Saul was the first king of Israel
(1020-1000 B.C.E). Saul was a Benjaminite
, the son of Kish
, grandson of Abiel
, great-grandson of Zeror
, the son of Becorath
who was the son of Aphiah
. Saul became king either because he was anointed king of Israel by Samuel
or was chosen by lot. One of Saul's first actions as king was to defeat the Ammonites
Later Saul began a war with the Philistines, and in preparation of the battle gave a burnt offering to the Lord. This burnt offering got Saul in ritual trouble, since it was not considered his role to be giving sacrifices, that job should have been the priest's. Because of this ritual sin, Saul lost God's support for his reign, which leads to Samuel anointing David king in his place. Another explanation given by the Bible for Saul's rejection is his failure to completely annihilate the Amalikites as he had been commanded by God.
David was Saul's armor-bearer, David was able to calm Saul when the "evil spirit" came upon him by playing the lyre. After David defeats Goliath Saul becomes jealous of David, especially when David becomes close to Saul's son Jonathan and becomes increasingly successful now that David rather than Saul has God's favor. Saul promised his elder daughter Merab to David in marriage if he was valiant against the Philistines, but gave her to Adriel instead. Then Saul promised his daughter Michal to David if he brought Saul a hundred foreskins of the enemy. When David succeeded this just made Saul more bitter. Eventually David was forced to flee from Saul, with the help of Jonathan. He pursued David to Nob, where he kills some priests. Eventually he is defeated by David, who spares his life at Ein Gedi.
Samuel's spirt comes back to rebuke Saul for consorting with the witch at Endor.
Saul took his own life after being injured by the Philistines. He was mourned by David, despite all Saul had done to him. Saul's children were Jonathon, Ishvi, Malchishua, Merab and Michah. His wife was Ahinoam.