User:RobertC/OT Lesson 22

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Lesson 22: "The Lord Looketh on the Heart" (1 Sam 9-11, 13, 15-17)

Saul commences as king (1 Sam 9-11)[edit]

Summary and textual notes[edit]

  • Saul, a Benjamite, goes out looking for his father's asses (9:1-5).
  • Before returning home, Saul's servant suggests asking the nearby seer for help: Saul agrees (9:6-10).
  • Saul, the seer, meets with Saul and tells him he'll be king (9:15-20).
  • 1 Sam 9:16: "Captain" in this verse may be more accurately translated "crown prince" or "king-designate" ("prince" in NASB and "ruler" in NRSV). The same term is used in reference to David before he is king in 1 Sam 25:30, 2 Sam 5:2; 6:21; and 2 Sam 7:8.
  • 1 Sam 9:19-20: In verse 19, the phrase "all that is in thine heart" could also be translated "everything that is on your mind." In verse 20, Samuel tells Saul first about the asses, presumably what is on Saul's mind (see verses 5-6), then asks who the riches of Israel belong to, if not to Saul and his father's house. One way of interpreting this somewhat confusing verse is to see Samuel as explaining to Saul through this question that he will be king. As the Anchor Bible explains it, "Saul is to be king of Israel and therefore owner, in a sense, of all her wealth. Why then should he concern himself about a few stray asses?"
  • Samuel entertains and talks with Saul (9:21-27).
  • Samuel annoints Saul and says Saul will be shown three signs: (1) the asses will be found, (2) he'll be given bread, and (3) Saul will feel inspired to prophesy (10:1-8).
  • The signs are given as Samuel said and Saul returns home (10:9-16).
  • Saul is chosen king before the people by casting of lots (10:17-27).
  • Casting of lots. See Josh 7:16 for discussion and cross-references regarding the casting of lots in evoking a confession of Achan's guilt which caused a military defeat for the Israelites under Joshua's leadership.
  • Saul leads Israelites to victory over the Ammonites (11:1-15).

Saul's virtues[edit]

  • Considerate. Notice that Saul seems to be considerate of his father in 1 Sam 9:5.
  • Humble. Saul also seems to display genuine humility in 1 Sam 9:21 ("my family [is] the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin"; humility can be defined as knowing your place—cf. "unprofitable servants" in Mosiah 2:21-25]]).
  • Reborn. 1 Sam 10:9, "God gave [Saul] another heart."
  • Prophesies. See 1 Sam 10:10.
  • Forgiving. In 1 Sam 11:11-13, Saul forgives his critics.
  • Acknowledges God. See 1 Sam 11:13 after the victory over the Ammonites.

Saul's disobedience (1 Sam 13 and 15)[edit]

David's call and victory over Goliath (1 Sam 16-17)[edit]

Other passages[edit]

From judges to kings (1 Sam 12)[edit]

Samson recounts God's mindfulness of Israel under the reign of the judges and offers several warnings regarding monarchic rule. In verse 19 the people acknowledge that their request for a king was evil. (For more on this, see the commentary for 1 Sam 8:7-9 and quotes on the User:RobertC/OT Lesson 21 page).

Jonathan's victory at Michash (1 Sam 14:1-22)[edit]


  • Jonathan declares faith, like Gideon, in God's power to deliver (v. 6).
  • Jonathan looks for a sign to see if attacking the Philistines is God's will (vv. 8-10).
  • The Philistines say "come up to us" which is the yes sign (vv. 11-12).
  • Jonathan and his armour-bearer kill about 20 men (vv. 13-14).
  • An earthquake causes confusion and the Philistines kill each other (v. 15).
  • Saul and other Israelites join in the battle (vv. 16-22).

Jonathan is condemned to death (1 Sam 14:23-46)[edit]


  • Saul commands his people not to eat anything (v. 24).
  • Jonathan unknowingly disobeys (v. 27).
  • Jonathan is condemned to death (v. 39) and accepts his fate with no excuses (v. 43).
  • The people plead/protest and save Jonathan's life (vv. 44-45).

Related Links[edit]