|א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת|
שָׁאוּל בֶּן הַכְּנַעֲנִית (בראשית מו:י, שמות ו:טו, במדבר כו:יג, דברי הימים א ד:כד)
שָׁאוּל בֶּן עֻזִיָּה (דברי הימים א ו:ט)
A descendant of קהת בן לוי . This might be the same individual as יואל בן עזריה listed in דברי הימים א ו :כא .
שָׁאוּל בֶּן קִישׁ (שָׁאוּל בֶּן קִישׁ בֶּן אֲבִיאֵל בֶּן צְרוֹר בֶּן בְּכוֹרַת בֶּן אֲפִיחַ בֶּן אִישׁ יְמִינִי גִבּוֹר חָיִל) (שמואל א ט-לא, דברי הימים א ח:לג, י)
The first king of Israel. שאול is described as tall and good. We first meet him during his search for missing donkeys. He and his servant approach שמואל for guidance and שמואל secretly anoints שאול king (chapters 9 and 10). He is soon presented by שמואל to the nation and faces immediate scorn as some of the citizenry doubt his leadership abilities (chapter 10). שאול is humble and brave and soon proves his mettle by galvanizing the nation to fight עמון (chapter 11) and the פלשתים (chapters 13 and 14). He stumbles in chapter 13 when he preempts שמואל and offers a קרבן on his own. During battle with the פלשתים , שאול forbids his men from eating until the enemy is vanquished. The prince, יונתן , unaware of the vow eats honey, leading שאול to condemn his son to death. The people however, demand that יונתן be spared (chapter 14). שמואל commands שאול to battle עמלק and to obliterate them in order to fulfill the תורה 's command of דברים כה :יט . שאול partially obeys, allowing the people to keep עמלק 's sheep and oxen, and sparing אגג , the king. שמואל 's subsequent rebuke is met with excuses by the king (chapter 15). God's disappointment with שאול for not killing אגג , leads Him to select דוד as the next monarch. This appointment is unknown to שאול who soon meets דוד in the palace. God infuses שאול with an evil spirit and in an attempt to calm the king's nerves, his aides bring דוד , a harpist, to serve as court musician. שאול is much taken with דוד , loves him, in fact, making him the royal armour bearer (chapter 16). דוד emerges as clear competition to שאול in the following episode. שאול 's army is challenged by a פלשתי giant, גלית , to send a representative to engage in a duel with the six cubit tall warrior. שאול , no midget himself, is nevertheless terrified of the adversary and he and his army remain locked in a standoff with the פלשתים for 40 days. The arrival of דוד on the battlefield brings hope to the national situation as the youth offers to accept the challenge. דוד kills the פלשתי and Israel subsequently defeats his army (chapter 17). דוד is a hugely successful and popular soldier and as his reputation grows so does שאול 's distrust of him. This sense of competition coupled with the evil spirit possessing שאול leads him twice to try to kill דוד by throwing a spear at him (18:11 and 19:10). In an attempt to ensure דוד 's death, שאול agrees to let his daughter מיכל marry דוד , as long as the latter kills 100 פלשתים and returns with their foreskins. דוד delivers 200 and marries מיכל (chapter 18). שאול cannot abide the fact that יונתן , his son and heir to the throne, is enamoured with and is keeping company with דוד , their political rival. He tries another tactic, sending soldiers to דוד 's house at night to have him slain. דוד 's wife מיכל helps him escape and lies to her father, claiming that דוד threatened to harm her if she didn't save him. שאול then pursues דוד to רמה where he has taken refuge with the prophet שמואל . Upon his arrival the king is seized with the spirit of God, strips off his clothes and spends the night prophesying (chapter 19). שאול again makes his intentions known to his son, rebuking him for favouring דוד when it means he will never be king (chapter 20). שאול discovers that דוד has recently taken refuge in נֹב (news he learns from דֹאֵג ) and summons אחימלך and all the כהנים from there and accuses them of treason. When his servants refuse to kill the כהנים , דאג does the grisly deed, slaughtering 85 כהנים in addition to the women and children of the town. אביתר , אחימלך 's son, is the lone survivor and he escapes to דוד (chapter 22). שאול plans on storming קעילה , a town that דוד has saved from the פלשתים , but דוד hears of the plans and manages to escape. שאול gets a tip from זפים (Israelites from זיף ) about דוד 's whereabouts and pursues him into the desert but breaks off his chase to beat back a פלשתי attack (chapter 23). שאול next follows דוד to עין גדי where דוד actually confronts him. שאול is hunting דוד with 3000 soldiers when he enters a cave to relieve himself. דוד and his men are hiding in the back of the cave and דוד cuts a piece off שאול 's cloak. As soon as שאול leaves the cave, דוד appears at its mouth and reveals himself, arguing that had he really been treasonous he could have killed שאול right then. שאול is persuaded that דוד means him no harm and secures an oath from דוד that when he is king he will not kill שאול 's descendants (chapter 24). On another tip from the citizens of זיף , שאול takes his posse to מדבר זיף to trap דוד . דוד sneaks down to the king's camp at night and makes off with שאול 's spear and water flask. דוד climbs a mountain and first addresses אבנר , the general who failed to protect שאול . Next, showing the spear, he again tells שאול that he had a fine opportunity to kill him and refrained. Is this not proof of דוד 's loyalty? שאול admits as much and blesses דוד . The two part, never to meet again (chapter 26). שאול is preparing once again to fight the פלשתים , this time at גִּלְבֹּעַ , and fearing the upcoming battle, decides to seek the advice of his dead mentor. He visits a woman whom he believes can raise the spirits of the dead, and asks her to call forth שמואל . שמואל is distressed at being disturbed and tells the king that due to his sins, he and his sons will die the next day in battle with the פלשתים . שמואל also delivers the news that שאול has spent half his career trying to prevent: דוד will succeed שאול on Israel's throne (chapter 28). During the battle the next day, שאול is pinned down by פלשתי archers and fearing capture, he begs his armour bearer to kill him. The aide refuses so שאול kills himself by falling on his sword. The death of the king leads to panic amongst the Israelites, some of whom flee their towns. The פלשתים find the bodies of the royal family. They cut off the king's head and hang his body on the wall of בית שאן . The people from יבש גלעד whom שאול rescued from עמון (chapter 11) retrieve שאול 's body from the פלשתים and bury him and his sons in יבש (chapter 31). After his death, שאול 's loyal general אבנר , attempts to continue the dynasty of שאול by installing his son אִישׁ בֹּשֶׁת as king over Israel (שמואל ב ב ). But איש בשת is slain and the entire nation accepts דוד as its new leader. In a bizarre episode appearing later in שמואל ב (chapter 21) דוד pacifies the גבעונים by delivering seven of שאול 's descendants to them for execution. דוד subsequently buries these seven along with the bones of שאול and יהונתן his son in the family sepulchre at צֵלָע . Rabbinic assessment of שאול is mixed. In one source, the Gemara criticizes him for misplaced sympathy (for sparing the king of עמלק ) and misplaced cruelty (for slaughtering the כהנים at נֹב ). On the other hand, on that same page, רב הונא states that שאול was a faultless individual (יומא כב :). A third Gemara argues that שאול was actually superior to דוד (מועד קטן טז :). שאול 's failure in fighting עמלק (chapter 15) forms the הפטרה for פרשת זכור .
שָׁאוּל מֵרְחֹבוֹת הַנָּהָר (בראשית לו:לז, דברי הימים א א:מח)
A king of אדום who rules after שַׂמְלָה .