Shmuel 1-Chapter 10: Shaul is anointed King

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Chapter 10: Shaul is anointed King

1. Shaul is anointed: (10:1)

  • Shmuel took the jar of oil imported on the head of Shaul and kissed him he said to him you have been anointed by G-d onto his inheritance [of Israel] as a leader.

2. Shmuel tells Shaul a prophecy of what will occur to him during his travels: (10:2-8)  

  • Shmuel tells Shaul that he will meet people who have a message regarding his mules: Shmuel told Shaul the following: When you leave me today you will find two people who are [currently[1]] by the burial place of Rachel, [and by the time you arrive they will be[2]] in the territory of Benjamin, By the shade of G-d [i.e. Jerusalem[3]]. These men will tell you that the mules that you have been searching for have been found and your father has moved on from finding the mules as he is now worried about you saying what has become of my son.
  • Shmuel tells Shaul that he will then meet people carrying food: You shall travel from there onwards until you reach the plane of Tavor, in which you will find three men who are traveling towards Beis Keil. One man will be carrying 3 young goats, and another will be carrying 3 loaves of bread another will be carrying a flask wine. They will ask you as to your wellbeing and will give you 2 loaves of bread and you will take it from their hands.
  • Shmuel tells Shaul that he will then meet a group of prophets and prophesize: You will then travel to the Valley of G-d [Kiryat Yearim[4]] where the philistine appointees are standing. When you arrive to the city you will meet a group of prophets that are descending from the altar and before them will be musical instruments, a flute a tambourine, a drum, and a harp. The spirit of G-d will follow up on you and you will join them in prophecy and become a different person.
  • Shmuel instructs Shaul of what to do after the above signs take place: After all the above signs occur to you, do as you see fit[5], as G-d will be with you. [After you become king] you shall then come down to me to Gilgal [and wait for me to come to you]. After seven days pass since your arrival, I will then come down to you to offer Olos and Shelamim sacrifices, and inform you as to your further instructions.

3. The above signs occur to Shaul: (10:9-16)  

  • When Shaul turned his shoulder to leave Shmuel G-d turned him into another man [as he received the bravery and strength of a king[6]] and all the signs that Shmuel spoke of occurred to him that day.
  • Shaul prophesizes and surprises the public: When Shaul arrived to the Giva he met a group of prophets and the spirit of G-d rested upon him and he joined them in prophecy. When Shaul’s acquaintances saw that he was prophesizing together with the other prophets, they exclaimed to each other “Is the son of Kish also amongst the prophets?” A person who was present responded that they should not be surprised, as there is no father to the prophets [which requires it to come as an inheritance from father to son, and hence he too can become a prophet even if his father was not[7]]. It became a saying from that time and onwards “Is also Shaul amongst the prophets?”
  • Shaul completed his prophecy and came to the Bama.
  • Shaul is questioned by his uncle as to his whereabouts: The uncle of Shaul asked him and his lad as to their whereabouts, to which he replied that he had gone to search for the mules [of his father which had gotten lost] and they arrived to Shmuel [in search for the mules]. The uncle persisted to ask Shaul as to what Shmuel had told them. Shaul replied to his uncle that Shmuel had revealed to them that the mules had already been found. However, [due to his great humility[8]] he did not tell his uncle about his future coronation as king which Shmuel had confided in him.

4. The coronation of Shaul: (10:17-27)  

  • Shmuel summons the nation for the coronation of Shaul: Shmuel summoned the nation to come to Mitzpah and told the Jewish people that G-d had taken them out of Egypt and saved them from the hands of Egypt and from the hands of all the nations that had oppressed them. “Now, you have today despised your G-d who has saved you from all your evil and troubles and have asked for a king to be placed over you, and now you shall stand before your G-d in accordance to your tribes and chiefs [for the sake of making a lottery using the Urim Vetumim to determine who should be appointed king[9]].” [Alternatively, the lottery was made by writing the names of each tribe on a piece of paper and family and then placing it in a box and having Shmuel choose a paper from the box.[10] Practically, both forms of lottery were done, first through papers chosen by Shmuel and then through the Urim Vetumim.[11]]
  • Shaul is chosen by the lottery: Shmuel brought forward all the tribes of Israel, and the tribe of Binyamin was chosen [by the lottery]. The families of the tribe of Binyamin were brought forward and the family of Matri was chosen [by the lottery]. Shaul the son of Kish was then chosen [from that family, by the lottery], however he was nowhere to be found.
  • Shaul is searched and found: Being that Shaul could not be found they asked Hashem [through the Urim Vetumim[12]] as to whether the chosen man had showed up to the gathering. Hashem replied [through the Urim Vetumim] that he has come although is hiding amongst the vessels [which the people had stored in the storage room after they arrived[13]]. [Alternatively, this means that Shaul refused to comply with him being chosen through the lottery unless they asked Hashem through the Urim Vetumim and Hashem replied that Shaul is the chosen king, and this is indeed what happened.[14]] The people ran to look for him in the storage room, and found him there and stood him up amongst the people, and he was taller than nation from his shoulders and above.
  • Shaul is coronated king amongst the nation: Shmuel told the nation “Do you see that Hashem has chosen him as there is no one like him throughout the nation.” The nation began sounding trumpet sounds and proclaimed “Yechi Hamelech/Long live the King.”
  • Shmuel teaches the nation the laws of the kingship: Shmuel spoke to the nation the laws of the kingship. The laws were written in a book and placed before G-d [inside of the Aron[15]]. Shmuel then sent all the nation back to their homes and families.
  • Shaul returns home with soldiers: Also, Shaul returned home, to Giva. The soldiers who felt G-d in their hearts followed him.
  • Some people do not accept Shaul as king: There were a group of thugs who belittled Shaul and his kingship, stating that he will not be able to save them from anything. They refused to give him any gifts, and Shaul did not respond and remained silent.


[1] Rashi 10:2

[2] Rashi ibid

[3] Rashi ibid

[4] Rashi 10:5

[5] Radak 10:7; However, see Rashi ibid that this refers to Shmuel telling Shaul that he will make for him garments of kingship, and that he should therefore prepare all the accessories needed for his monarchy

[6] Rashi 10:9

[7] Rashi 10:12

[8] Rashi 10:16

[9] See Radak 10:19; Metzudas David 10:20

[10] Rashi 10:21

[11] Rashi 10:23

[12] Metzudos David 10:22

[13] Rashi 10:22

[14] Rashi 10:22

[15] Radak 10:26

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