When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them. And he did valiantly and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.
Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was Merab, and the name of the younger Michal. And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he attached him to himself.
Comment: After this the story of Saul becomes tragic. But here he has several things listed to praise him.
- He led his country well on the battle field. But the mention of his warring with the Amalekites leaves out half the story, which we hear about in the coming days.
- His family history is given in some detail establishing his reign in time and space. This is not a fairy story.
- The Philistines were a thorn in his side all of his reign. In preparing his army he selected the strong and valiant around him. His reign is at a high point at the end of chapter 14. There are years left for Saul as king but it is not all a glorious story as we shall see.
Prayer: Please help me to run my race well, persevering until the end.