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1 Samuel 14:47-51 – A Positive Summary of Saul’s Achievements


Saul's career is summarized.


This positive note sounds strange amid the generally negative portrayal of Saul found in the surrounding narrative. At the height of his career, Saul's military achievements (vv. 47-48) are listed along with details of his family and Abner, his cousin and general (vv. 49-51). Both Samuel (vv. 47-48) and David (2 Samuel 8:1-18) receive similar summaries at the height of their careers. The apparently positive character of Saul's summary, however, may be offset by the lack of any reference similar to the Lord's giving "victory to David wherever he went" (2 Samuel 8:6, 14). All we hear is that Saul "fought against all his enemies on every side….He did valiantly" (1 Samuel 14:47-48). That being said, Saul is rightly praised for his military achievements, which expanded Israel's borders in every direction.

1 Samuel 14:47-51

Saul’s Continuing Wars

47 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. 48He did valiantly, and struck down the Amalekites, and rescued Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was Merab, and the name of the younger, Michal. 50The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the commander of his army was Abner son of Ner, Saul’s uncle; 51Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

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