Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    The Reign of Saul

    “When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel.” They walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and said to Samuel, “Make us a king to judge us, like all the nations.” 1 Samuel 8:1-5. Now Kish, “had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man.”-9:1, 2. “And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king.” 11:15.ASC 76.1

    “Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel, whereof ...a thousand were with Jonathan.... And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines, that was in Geba.” 13:1-3. A few days after this, Saul usurped the priest’s office and offered a burnt offering, for which act, the Lord said to him, by Samuel, “Now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people.” 13:14. “And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul,” 14:52.ASC 76.2

    Saul was given another trial, and was commanded to “utterly destroy” Amalek. 15:3. For sparing Agag, and the best of the cattle and sheep, “Samuel said unto him, the Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou.... And Samuel came no more to see Saul, until the day of his death; nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul; and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” vs. 28, 35.ASC 76.3

    Samuel is rebuked for mourning Saul’s rejection, and is commanded to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as king; and he anointed David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, who was then “keeping the sheep.” The Spirit of the Lord departs from Saul, and an evil spirit troubles him. He wants one skilful to play on the harp, and sends for David, who becomes his armor-bearer. 16:1-21. In the 17th chap. David encounters and slays Goliah. At this time, Jesse, the father of David, “went among men for an old man,” and Saul called David “a youth.” vs. 12, 33. David is hated by Saul. Samuel dies. 25:1. David resides for a few months with the Philistines; who, soon after the death of Samuel, attack Israel. The battle goes hard against Saul, so that he falls on his sword and dies. ch. 30, 31. B. C. 1070.ASC 77.1

    The Old Testament does not give the length of the reign of Saul. The modern Jewish chronology assigns to it seven years. Josephus says that Saul reigned eighteen years during the life of Samuel, and twenty-two after his death-(Ant. vi. 14, 9.) St. Paul, speaking of the time “to Samuel the Prophet,” says:ASC 77.2

    “And afterward they desired a king, and God gave unto them Saul, the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king. Acts 13:21, 22. Does this “space of forty years” cover all the time to David, from the termination of “the four hundred and fifty years, to Samuel the prophet?” v. 20; or did Saul alone reign forty years, and Samuel judge Israel for a period between the termination of the four hundred and fifty years and the commencement of the forty?ASC 78.1

    There is nothing in the history of Saul to indicate a reign of forty years. Although he is called a young man when he is chosen, yet, in the third year of his reign, his son Jonathan is a warrior of some distinction. Jonathan was a bosom friend of David, and could not have been many years his senior. His son, Mephibosheth, was only five years old when his father died. 2 Samuel 4:4. David is thirty at Saul’s death. Saul’s second son, Ishui, 1 Samuel 14:49, or Ish-bosheth, was then only forty years old, 2 Samuel 2:10; so that Jonathan, to have been a warrior of distinction in Saul’s third year, must have been born twenty years before Saul’s reign, which would make him sixty, and Saul eighty, at the end of forty years, and a father only at the age of fifty-five. But it is not reasonable to suppose he was more than twelve years David’s senior, or that Saul was more than sixty-five at his death; or Jonathan more than thirty-seven at the birth of his son. The death of Samuel, also, could not have occurred more than about two years previous to Saul’s death; and David must have been anointed as early as the fifth year of Saul, at which time he was old enough to keep his father’s sheep. The presumption, therefore, is, that Saul could not have reigned much, if any, more than twenty years. Say eighteen during the life of Samuel, and two, instead of twenty-two, as Josephus says, after Samuel’s death. It is possible, therefore, but not certain, that the forty years were designed by Paul to connect the four hundred and fifty years with the accession of David. The arguments for this conclusion are the following:ASC 78.2

    If these forty years cover the space of time named, they complete the chain of inspired chronology, from creation to the conquest of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar. Did God design to furnish mankind with the chronology of the world?ASC 79.1

    If he did not, why is any chronology given, in the Scriptures? Why are all the breaks-unless this is an exception-in the chronology of the Old Testament, so carefully supplied in the New? And why does the chronology of inspiration stop at the precise point of time where it is no longer requisite?ASC 79.2

    To illustrate:-The Hebrew text gives an uninterrupted succession of periods to the death of Terah. It then gives four hundred and thirty years, at the Exode, for the sojournings of the children of Israel; but the Old Testament leaves chronologers in the dark respecting the time of their commencement. This is supplied by inspiration, by the testimony of Stephen, who places the departure of Abraham from Haran, at the death of Terah; and by Paul, who states that the law was given four hundred and thirty years after the promise. The Old Testament gives the time in the wilderness-forty years-and by the age of Caleb, at two points of time, the time from the entrance to Canaan, to the division of the land-six years. It does not give the time from this division to the first captivity; but the New Testament supplies this, by the four hundred and fifty years from this division to Samuel. From the accession of David to the conquest by Nebuchadnezzar, there is no link of the inspired chain wanting. From the conquest of Babylon to the present time, profane records are so substantiated by astronomical phenomena, that the time of Nebuchadnezzar is undisputed. And between Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus there are so many coincidences between sacred and profane chronology, that the two are admirably harmonized and adjusted to each other. Consequently, if the forty years of Saul were designed to date from the end of the four hundred and fifty years of the judges, there would be no link wanting in the chain of inspired chronology, to the very point where its further continuance would have been entirely superfluous. These coincidences are entirely inexplicable, if it was not designed to give, by inspiration, a chronology covering all the time not covered by profane chronology.ASC 79.3

    Leaving undecided the connection of the four hundred and fifty and the forty years, the former brings down the uninterrupted succession of inspired periods from creation toASC 81.1

    A. M. 3010.
    The latter commences 7Between these two, Dr. Hales supposes a period of forty-two years. B. C. 1110,
    and terminates at the death of Saul, 1070.

    As this is the commencement of a succession of periods, the connection of which is easily calculated to the Vulgar Era, the subsequent dates will be given in their relation to that Era.ASC 81.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents