Death of a king

  1. Saul’s family tree (9:35-44)
  • Although the kingdom ends with Saul, his family line continues
  • Battle (10:1-7)
  • Defeat of Israel at Gilboa
  • Saul’s sons are killed
  • Saul commits suicide
    • Leithart compares him to Goliath also defeated by missile and sword. [1]

“Saul’s suicide is an appropriate gesture: he is the troubler of his own house.”[2]

  • The people flee
  • What the Philistines did to Saul (10:8-10)
  • Shaming
  • Declaration -to people and gods
  • Victory tokens for the gods
  • Heroes (10:11 -12)
  • A proper burial
  • Verdict on Saul (10:13-14)
  • Saul died because he was unfaithful
    • Failing to wait for Samuel to offer sacrifices (1 Sam 13)
    • Taking what should have been devoted to destruction (1 Sam 15)
    • The extreme of consulting a medium instead of YHWH (1 Sam 28)

But also “It was in his total behaviour, not in isolated individual acts, that Saul showed himself to be unfaithful, and it was for the lack of faith that Yahweh rejected him and turned the kingdom over to David, the son of Jesse (v14b).”[3]

Ch 1-9 have built up to this.  Will you seek God in prayer (like Jabesh)?  Will you be faithful? Or will you be like Saul, unfaithful and failing to seek God?


Did Saul’s unfaithfulness and tragic, shameful end undo and disqualify the supposed good that he did? If so, can we apply anything from this to situations today when seemingly spirit filled leaders fall?

[1] Leithart, 1 and 2 Chronicles, 35.

[2] Leithart, 1 and 2 Chronicles, 35.

[3] Braun, 1 Chronicles, 152. 

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