Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 10

The anointing of Saul

1 Samuel 10:1

Samuel poured oil on Saulís head. This was the sacred ceremony called the anointing. Its effect was to make Saul king.

The oil in the ceremony had a special meaning. It showed that Godís Holy Spirit was coming upon Saul. The Holy Spirit came in order to separate Saul for his special task. So really, as Samuel explained, the anointing came from God and not merely from Samuel. Samuel poured the oil, but the Holy Spirit comes from God.

Saul needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit in order to rule as Israelís king. The kings of other nations may rule by their own power, but Israel was different. Israel is a holy nation. God has established his covenant (relationship) with Israelís people and they belong to him. They are Godís inheritance, in other words, Godís permanent possession. Saul could only rule Israel because God permitted it. Saul would rule on Godís behalf. Other kings may have absolute authority over their nation, but Saul had to be Godís servant. Whatever Saul may do, Israel would still belong to God, and not to Saul.

There was a series of events in the process to appoint Saul king. The anointing was the most important of all those events. Saulís anointing was private: only Samuel and Saul were present. However, we can see how much this event affected everyone in Israel by Davidís words in 1 Samuel 24:6, 1 Samuel 26:9-11 and 1 Samuel 26:23. David spoke many years afterwards. At that time, Saul had become very wicked and he was trying to kill David. However, David refused to oppose Saul in any way whatever. Davidís reason was simply that Saul had received this anointing.

Next part: Three events to prove that God had chosen Saul (1 Samuel 10:2-4)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.