Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 11

Saul becomes popular

1 Samuel 11:12-15

Saulís success in the battle against Ammonís army immediately made him very popular. Before the battle, although Saul was Israelís king, nobody considered him to be a great man. Some people had even argued that Saul should not be the king (10:27). After the battle, everyone wanted to be on Saulís side.

The result was that Israelís people wanted to make Saulís rule strong. They even proposed to kill the men who had opposed Saul. Usually at that time a new king would kill anyone who opposed his rule. The people in Israel had a special duty to be loyal to their king, because God had appointed him (10:1; 24:6-7).

It is interesting that the people asked Samuel, not Saul, about this matter. Until then, the people still considered Samuel their judge and leader. The rule over the nation had not yet passed completely to Saul. However, although they had spoken to Samuel, Saul made the decision. So Saul showed that he had authority over Israel.

Saul made a popular decision. He did not want anyone in Israel to die on such a happy occasion. Everyone should be happy on that day, because on that day God had rescued Israel.

Samuel proposed that Israelís people should gather at Gilgal. There, he would organise a special ceremony to re-appoint Saul as Israelís king.

That meeting in Gilgal was both a sacred occasion and a happy party. Samuel again declared Saul to be the king, and the people promised to be loyal to him. Then the people had a great meal. They shared the meat from the many animals that they offered to God. That meal showed fellowship (friendship) between God, the people in Israel, and King Saul.

Next part: Samuelís last speech (1 Samuel 12:1-5)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.