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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Saul

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(Heb. Shaill', שָׁאוּל, desired; Sept. and New Test. Σαούλ ; Josephus, Σάουλος ), the name of several men, the following three of whom are thus known in the A.V. For the others (See SHAUL).

1. An early king of the Edomites, successor of Samlah at Rehoboth (Genesis 36:37-38), elsewhere called "Shaul" (1 Chronicles 1:4 p. 49). B.C. post 1618.

2. The first king of Israel (B.C. 1093-1053). As such his career possesses a peculiar interest in the history and relations of the chosen people.

I. The Name. This first becomes prominent here in the history of Israel, though found before in the Edomitish prince already mentioned, and in a son of Simeon (Genesis 46:10; A.V. "Shaul"). It also occurs among the Kohathites in the genealogy of Samuel (1 Chronicles 6:24, "Shaul"), and in Saul, like the king, of the tribe of Benjamin, better known as the apostle Paul (see below). Josephus (War, 2, 18, 4) mentions a Saul, father of one Simon who distinguished himself at Scythopolis in the early part of the Jewish war. The name in its application to the present character seems almost like a mockery of his history.

II. His Family. On the following page is a general view of Saul's pedigree.

In this genealogy may be observed

1. The repetition in two generations of the names of Kish and Ner, of Nadab and Abi-nadab, and of Mephibosheth.

2. The occurrence of the name of Baal in three successive generations; possibly in four, as there were two Mephibosheths.

3. The constant shiftings of the names of God, as incorporated in the proper names: (a) Ab-iel=Je hiel; (b) Malchi-shua=Je-shua; (c) Esh- baal=Ishbosheth; (d) Mephi- (or Meri-) baal=Mephi-bosheth.

4. The long continuance of the family down to the times of Ezra.

5. Is it possible that Zimri (1 Chronicles 9:42) can be the usurper of 1 Kings 16 - if so, the last attempt of the house of Saul to regain its ascendency? The time would agree.

There is a disagreement between the pedigree in 1 Samuel 9:1; 1 Samuel 14:51, which represents Saul and Abner as the grandsons of Abiel. and 1 Chronicles 8:33; 1 Chronicles 9:39, which represents them as his great- grandsons. If we adopt the more elaborate pedigree in the Chronicles, we must suppose either that a link has been dropped between Abiel and Kish, in 1 Samuel 9:1, or that the elder Kish, the son of Abiel (1 Chronicles 9:36), has been confounded with the younger Kish, the son of Ner (1 Chronicles 9:39). The pedigree in 1 Chronicles 8 is not free from confusion, as it omits among the sons of Abiel, Ner, who in 1 Chronicles 9:36 is the fifth son, and who in both is made the father of Kish. (See ABIEL).

Saul's more particular genealogy and lineage (so far as given) is as follows:

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Saul'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/s/saul.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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