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Reflections on the Life and Period of King Saul - Essay Example

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Reflections on the Life and Period of King Saul

The bible narrates that when the Prophet Samuel grew old, the elders of Israel demanded a king for Israel because the sons of Samuel were not walking in the ways of Samuel and also because they need a leader “like other nations” (1 Samuel 8.5). At first, Samuel attempted to dissuade his people from having a king. Samuel was also “displeased” and prayed to God. In response, God communicated to Samuel that it was not Samuel’s leadership that the people was rejecting but God’s kingdom (1 Samuel 8.7). God asked Samuel to tell his people what a king would do: draft citizens for army service, get a tenth of the harvest, and turn people to slaves (1 Samuel 8.10-18). However, the people remained steadfast in asking Samuel for a king and God eventually conceded (1 Samuel 8.21). The Israelites wanted a king “like the other nations” to lead them, go with them, and fight their battles (1 Samuel 8.20). According to the biblical account, God told Samuel that he has chosen Saul to be king and to lead in the delivery of Israel from the Phillistines and God also told Samuel that the cries of the people of Israel has reached him (1 Samuel 9.15-17). Biblical accounts describe Saul as a Benjamite who was the tallest Israelite during his time. In revealing God’s choice for Saul to become king, Samuel reminded the Israelites that God has been protecting Israel and that by demanding a king, they were rejecting God (1 Samuel 10.17-19). It is important to note that the bible reported that Samuel explained to Israel the regulations of the kingship (1 Samuel 10.25) but nowhere in the bible were the regulations of kingship described or documented. Interestingly, when Saul was anointed king, 1 Samuel 12.1-25 told us that Samuel made a farewell speech, indicating that Saul was to fulfil many functions that Samuel used to fulfil. This indicates that in the movement from Samuel to Saul leadership, there was a movement from theocracy to monarchy. At the same time, in that monarchy, particularly in the Israeli monarchy under Saul, religious figures like Samuel continued to play an important role such in 1 Samuel 13, Samuel rebuked Saul and that Samuel continued to play a role in the military affairs of the Saul monarchy. Eventually, however, in 1 Samuel 15, Samuel after declaring earlier or in 1 Samuel 15.1 that he was the one sent by the Lord to anoint Saul as king declared later that “the Lord has rejected Saul as king over Israel” in 1 Samuel 15.26. Samuel and Saul parted ways and Samuel anointed David to succeed Saul as king (1 Samuel 16.1-13). David entered Saul’s service (1 Samuel 16.13-23). David eventually succeeded Saul as the king of Israel even when the former became the object of Saul’s jealousy and liquidation plots. Saul’s death is recorded in 1 Chronicle 10. III. The Literature on the Life and Period of King Saul In 1928, in an article published in the Journal of Biblical Literature, E.G. Kraeling described the “real religion of ancient Israel” (133). According to Kraeling, Yahweh or God is never compared to a king because God is the king (152). God is the one “who sits (enthroned) on mount Zion” ...Show more

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Reflections on the Life and Period of King Saul I. Introduction The Christian or Jewish bible is more than a source of religious inspiration and faith. It is also a documentation of a people’s way of life and how they think and lived in a period. Understanding the context of the biblical period and how they people live involved in the period live and think will most likely help us understand better the faith that was derived from the literature or document that is known as the Holy Bible…
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Reflections on the Life and Period of King Saul essay example
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