A Tale of Two Kings: The Difference Between Saul and David
By God's grace, both Saul and David were chosen from the bottom rung of the faith are two essential ingredients in building a strong relationship with God. After David kills Goliath, King Saul is pleased and makes David an army chief. What changes in their relationship so that Saul has murderous jealousy toward. Consider the relationship between Saul and David in the book of 1 Samuel. Saul acknowledged David's goodness when he saw David could have killed him.
Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands  implying that David is the greater warrior. Saul fears David's growing popularity and henceforth views him as a rival to the throne. Saul's son Jonathan and David become close friends.
Jonathan recognizes David as the rightful king, and "made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. On two occasions, Saul threw a spear at David as he played the harp for Saul. David becomes increasingly successful and Saul becomes increasingly resentful. Now Saul actively plots against David. Saul offered his other daughter, Michal in marriage to David. David initially rejects this offer also, claiming he is too poor. Saul offers to accept a bride price of Philistine foreskinsintending that David die in the attempt.
Instead, David obtains foreskins and is consequently married to Michal. Jonathan arranges a short-lived reconciliation between Saul and David and for a while David served Saul "as in times past" 1 Samuel Saul sends assassins in the night, but Michal helps him escape, tricking them by placing a household idol in his bed. David flees to Jonathan, who arranges a meeting with his father.
While dining with Saul, Jonathan explains David's absence, saying he has been called away to his brothers. But Saul sees through the ruse and reprimands Jonathan for protecting David, warning him that his love of David will cost him the kingdom, furiously throwing a spear at him.
The next day, Jonathan meets with David and tells him Saul's intent. The two friends say their goodbyes, and David flees into the countryside.
Saul later marries Michal to another man. Saul is later informed by his head shepherd, Doeg the Edomitethat high priest Ahimelech assisted David, giving him the sword of Goliath, which had been kept at the temple at Nob. Doeg kills Ahimelech and eighty-five other priests and Saul orders the death of the entire population of Nob. David had left Nob by this point and had amassed some disaffected men including some outlaws.
With these men David rescues the town of Keilah from a Philistine attack. Saul realises he could trap David and his men by laying the city to siege. David realizes that the citizens of Keilah will betray him to Saul.
He flees to Ziph pursued by Saul. Saul hunts David in the vicinity of Ziph on two occasions: Some of the inhabitants of Ziph betray David's location to Saul, but David hears about it and flees with his men to Maon. Saul follows David, but is forced to break off pursuit when the Philistines invade. After dealing with that threat Saul tracks David to the caves at Engedi. As he searches the cave David manages to cut off a piece of Saul's robe without being discovered, yet David restrains his men from harming the king.
David then leaves the cave, revealing himself to Saul, and gives a speech that persuades Saul to reconcile. On the second occasion, Saul returns to Ziph with his men. When David hears of this, he slips into Saul's camp by night, and again restrains his men from killing the king; instead he steals Saul's spear and water jug, leaving his own spear thrust into the ground by Saul's side.
David and Jonathan - Wikipedia
The next day, David reveals himself to Saul, showing the jug and spear as proof that he could have slain him. David then persuades Saul to reconcile with him; the two swear never to harm each other. After this they never see each other again. Battle of Gilboa and the death of King Saul[ edit ] The Battle of Gilboa, by Jean Fouquetthe protagonists depicted anachronistically with 15th Century armour The Philistines make war again, assembling at Shunemand Saul leads his army to face them at Mount Gilboa.
Before the battle he goes to consult a medium or witch at Endor. The medium, unaware of his identity, reminds him that the king has made witchcraft a capital offencebut he assures her that Saul will not harm her.
She conjures the spirit of the prophet Samuelwho before his death had prophesied that he would lose the kingdom. Samuel tells him that God has fully rejected him, will no longer hear his prayers, has given the kingdom to David and that the next day he will lose both the battle and his life. Saul collapses in fear, and the medium restores him with food in anticipation of the next day's battle. In 1 Samuel, and in a parallel account in 1 Chronicles 10, as the defeated Israelites flee, Saul asks his armour bearer to kill him, but he refuses, and so Saul falls upon his own sword.
David has the Amalekite put to death for accusing himself of killing the anointed king. The victorious Philistines recover Saul's body as well as those of his three sons who also died in the battle, decapitated them and displayed them on the wall of Beth-shan. They display Saul's armour in the temple of Ashtaroth an Ascalonian temple of the Canaanites.
But at night the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead retrieve the bodies for cremation and burial 1 Samuel Later on, David takes the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan and buries them in Zela, in the tomb of his father 2 Samuel Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. The birth-narrative of the prophet Samuel is found at 1 Samuel 1— It describes how Samuel's mother Hannah requests a son from Yahwehand dedicates the child to God at the shrine of Shiloh.
The passage makes extensive play with the root-elements of Saul's name, and ends with the phrase hu sa'ul le-Yahweh, "he is dedicated to Yahweh.
The majority explanation for the discrepancy is that the narrative originally described the birth of Saul, and was given to Samuel in order to enhance the position of David and Samuel at the former king's expense.
Before, Saul is presented in positive terms, but afterward his mode of ecstatic prophecy is suddenly described as fits of madness, his errors and disobedience to Samuel's instructions are stressed and he becomes a paranoiac. This may indicate that the David story is inserted from a source loyal to the House of David; David's lament over Saul in 2 Samuel 1 then serves an apologetic purpose, clearing David of the blame for Saul's death.
Samuel's words later clarify that God's repentance is not like human regret or reconsideration: The Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent. Understood in which sense, it can have no place in God. But it is often ascribed to him in the Scriptures when he alters his method of dealing with persons, and treats them as if he did indeed repent of the kindness he had shown them. Various authors have attempted to harmonize the two narratives regarding Saul's death.
Josephus writes that Saul's attempted suicide was stalled because he was not able to run the sword through himself, and that he therefore asked the Amalekite to finish it.
On this view, 1 Samuel records what actually happened, while 2 Samuel records what the Amalekite claims happened. One is based on the reverse logic that punishment is a proof of guilt, and therefore seeks to rob Saul of any halo which might surround him; typically this view is similar to the republican source. The passage referring to Saul as a choice young man, and goodly 1 Samuel 9: According to this view, Saul is only a weak branch Gen.
The second view of Saul makes him appear in the most favourable light as man, as hero, and as king. This view is similar to that of the monarchical source.
In this view it was on account of his modesty that he did not reveal the fact that he had been anointed king 1 Samuel Nor was there any one more pious than he M. He was marvelously handsome; and the maidens who told him concerning Samuel cf 1 Samuel 9: In war he was able to march miles without rest. When he received the command to smite Amalek 1 Samuel For one found slain the Torah requires a sin offering [Deuteronomy If the old have sinned, why should the young suffer; and if men have been guilty, why should the cattle be destroyed?
It was this mildness that cost him his crown. And while Saul was merciful to his enemies, he was strict with his own people; when he found out that Ahimelecha kohen, had assisted David with finding food, Saul, in retaliation, killed the rest of the 85 kohanim of the family of Ahimelech and the rest of his hometown, Nov.
Yoma 22b ; Num. But if his mercy toward a foe was a sin, it was his only one; and it was his misfortune that it was reckoned against him, while David, although he had committed much iniquity, was so favored that it was not remembered to his injury Yoma 22b; M.
In some respects Saul was superior to David, e.
A Tale of Two Kings: The Difference Between Saul and David
Saul expended his own substance for the war, and although he knew that he and his sons would fall in battle, he nevertheless went forward, while David heeded the wish of his soldiers not to go to war in person 2 Samuel According to the Rabbis, Saul ate his food with due regard for the rules of ceremonial purity prescribed for the sacrifice Yalq.
Yet in such cases it isn't uncommon for there to arise a bitterness between the convert and the converter; exactly as happened with David and Saul. In response to his victory over Goliath, " Jonathan loved him as his own soul. This seems to show Saul's response to David as parallel with Jonathan's response. Saul's possessiveness towards David was surely an indication of how closely he felt towards him 1. That he wouldn't allow him to return to his father's house suggests that Saul wanted to have David as his adopted son.
His delight that David was in love with Michal was a strange mixture of motivations; genuine joy at having David as his son-in-law, and also glee that perhaps David would die whilst raising that strange dowry. David was " pleased" to be Saul's son in law, as Saul too was " pleased" at the prospect David loved Saul, his daughters and his son Jonathan; and later David was to marry Saul's wives.
These wives were given into David's bosom 2 Sam. Even while Saul was alive there was probably some attraction chemistry going on between David and those women. This may well be reflected in Saul's fury with Jonathan: This hints at least two things: There can be few men who do not have at least some attraction to the father and family of their wife. David really loved Saul's daughter, indeed the prospect of marrying her may have been a large motivator behind his zeal in fighting Goliath and the Philistines Saul was not a totally unspiritual man; there are many hints that he had a spiritual side.
It's rare indeed that a totally unspiritual person can love a highly spiritual person like David. And yet this fine relationship ended in an intense love-hate affair. So many of the Psalms contain references to Saul's smear campaign against David Ps. This frequency of reference in itself indicates the weight with which this tragedy rested upon David's mind. So, it's taken us a long time to establish two points, hopefully now without any doubt: David and Saul had a highly complex relationship, pointing forward to the complexity of relationship between Christ and Israel.
These are some of many hints that there was a complex acceptance-rejection relationship between Israel and Christ.
Saul and David likewise had a mutual love and respect for each other.
After all Saul had done to David, David's grief at his death in 2 Sam. David taught all Israel to regularly sing that song of grief for Saul 2 Sam. Saul's sons and family were also involved in the anti-David campaign. The Spirit Of Christ How to love the unlovely, to live without bitterness, to not be a psychological victim of our past experiences, is absolutely vital for the true child of God. In David and above all the Lord Jesus we see this achieved so supremely.
Yet his gracious love for Saul was a stronger and the more dominant part of his character. Can we say that as a community, it seems we are in sore need of capturing this spirit, of knowing the mind of Christ in this.
We seem far, far away from it, as individuals and ecclesias. We wallow in our pasts, the bitterness born of others' unkindness stalks the generations, somehow we fail to break out of it. The world around us are trapped, utterly trapped, by their backgrounds, by their experiences, they treat their children as they were treated by parents, by teachers, by a morally crooked society; and their children do the same.
Many of us seem trapped in the same way. But we needn't be, there is a Gospel of freedom from all this, of a truly new creation. So let's consider how David, and the Lord Jesus, achieved what they did. Firstly, let's get it clear that neither of them turned a blind eye to the hatred they were being shown, they didn't just pretend they hadn't seen.
So many of the Psalms contain imprecations against those who were seeking David's soul- not just his physical life, but seeking to destroy his very being e. These imprecations expose the evil of Saul, and asks God to condemn him. Some of those Psalms appear to have been written by David in the Saul days, and then rewritten at the time of Absalom's rebellion- another man who sough David's soul, and yet whom David loved.
David responded to their seeking of him by seeking God more. He uses the language of the hunt and chase to describe how he was drawing closer to God: I flee unto thee to hide me" Ps. They both pleaded their innocence, and accused their enemies of being unfair and hypocritical.
Yet this must have been done from a genuine motive of love; as David loved Saul, as the thought of Saul's death must have torn at his heart, so the Lord Jesus loved Israel, weeping over Jerusalem, wishing to himself like a child for the impossible: Both David and Jesus had a real sense of direction, they could see that their mental, emotional and physical sufferings were leading them towards an altogether higher relationship with the Father.
They took those sufferings as an almost welcome push towards the Father. They had a sure sense of spiritual direction in all their afflictions; this accounts for the human loneliness which they both felt. David felt that no one else understood Ps.
The Hebrew for " understand" here is that translated " wise" concerning David in 1 Sam. True respect David saw Saul for who he was, the anointed of God. David's extreme respect for Saul is shown in the fact that Yahweh had explicitly told him that he would deliver Saul into David's hand, and David was free to do as he wished to him; but because of his genuine respect for Saul, David didn't take the liberty of killing him; indeed, he even felt guilty at cutting off the blue ribband from Saul's coat 1 Sam.
This would have been suicidal. For Saul wanted to kill him, and the Philistines also would have tried to kill David as a result of this. He would have had no place to run.
But even to the point of political suicide and the serious risking of his own life, David so loved his enemy. This true love leads to and is related to true respect.