Saul, Shaul [Sôul]—asked for or demanded.
1. The son of Kish, and first king of Israel (1 Sam. 9-11).
No man among Bible men had so many chances thrust upon him to make a success of life, and no man ever so missed them. Saul not only missed great opportunities, he deliberately abused them. His sun rose in splendor, but set in a tragic night. The downgrade of his life is the old familiar story of pride, egotism and the abuse of power leading to moral degradation and ruin. Here are the steps down the ladder:
He was a man anointed and filled with the Spirit. (1 Sam. 11:6).
In his early years he was humble and practiced self-control (1 Sam. 10:22; 10:27; 11:13).
Self-will restricted his influence (1 Sam. 13:12, 13).
He became disobedient and was guilty of rash vows (1 Sam. 15:11-23).
Jealousy prompted him to hunt and harm David (1 Sam. 18:8; 19:1).
He patronized the superstition he had forbidden (1 Sam. 28:7).
Wounded in battle, he ended up a suicide (1 Sam. 31:4).
Having already destroyed his moral life, he ultimately destroyed his physical life. Saul’s sad story is repeated almost daily.
2. The sixth of the ancient kings of Edom, from Rehoboth on the Euphrates (Gen. 36:37, 38).