King Saul was impatient and sinned

1 Chronicles 10: Israel’s First King Saul Lost His Life Because He Sinned

We’re done with the genealogies! Yay! Now to the historical accounts of the Israelites. This will overlap with 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. If you haven’t read those, there are links to their respective stories in those books. After the Israelites settled in the Promised Land, they had some turbulent years recorded in the Book of Judges. They asked God for a king and He gave them Saul, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. Unfortunately, King Saul disobeyed God and His life ended tragically. Let’s dig in…

1 Chronicles 10 – The Death of King Saul

Map, Mt. Gilboa, King Saul's final battle. Image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Map, Mt. Gilboa, King Saul’s final battle. Image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Now the Philistines attacked Israel, and the men of Israel fled before them. Many were slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed three of his sons—Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua. The fighting grew very fierce around Saul, and the Philistine archers caught up with him and wounded him.

Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to taunt and torture me.”

But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he fell on his own sword and died. So Saul and his three sons died there together, bringing his dynasty to an end.

When all the Israelites in the Jezreel Valley saw that their army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines moved in and occupied their towns.

The next day, when the Philistines went out to strip the dead, they found the bodies of Saul and his sons on Mount Gilboa. So they stripped off Saul’s armor and cut off his head. Then they proclaimed the good news of Saul’s death before their idols and to the people throughout the land of Philistia. 10 They placed his armor in the temple of their gods, and they fastened his head to the temple of Dagon.

11 But when everyone in Jabesh-gilead heard about everything the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their mighty warriors brought the bodies of Saul and his sons back to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones beneath the great tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.

13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14 instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

1 Chronicles 10 NLT

Who Were the Philistines?

The Philistines lived in Philistia on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Today, it’s known as the Gaza Strip. There is lots of speculation as to where they came from. Some scholars say Crete, others say the Nile Delta in Egypt. In any rate, they were a formidable foe, very powerful. They had fortified cities, a cavalry, chariots, and many soldiers. They also may have been the “giants” the Hebrew scouts saw when then first reached the Promised Land.

Needless to say, they were not happy to have all these Hebrews usurping their land. If you check out the map of the Tribes of Israel, you’ll see that Dan and Judah were assigned that territory. Dan didn’t want to deal with them so they went up north. Imagine, leaving waterfront property!

Ark of the Covenant vs Dagon fake god. Image by Jack Foster of MrBibleHead.blogspot.com from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Ark of the Covenant vs Dagon fake god. Image by Jack Foster of MrBibleHead.blogspot.com from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Their chief god was Dagon. Samson destroyed their original temple — that’s in the Book of Judges. Then some Hebrew soldiers get the bright idea to take the Ark of the Covenant into battle against the Philistines and it’s captured! However, the living God was no match for their man-made, non-existent idol.

Goliath, the giant that young David slew, was a Philistine.

The powerful Philistines met their match later in Alexander the Great. We’ll cover that story in a future post on the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew very soon. Subscribe so you don’t miss out!

By the way, after the Roman destruction of the temple in 70 AD, the Romans named the land “Palestine” after the Jews’ ancient enemy.

The Sins of King Saul

What awful sins did King Saul commit to anger God so much?

Saul disguises himself when he goes to consult the witch at Endor rather than consulting God. Image by Curtis and Pip Reid of Bible Pathway Adventures from FreeBibleImages.org
Saul disguises himself when he goes to consult the witch at Endor rather than consulting God. Image by Curtis and Pip Reid of Bible Pathway Adventures from FreeBibleImages.org

Hence, King Saul is defeated by the Philistines and takes his own life. Things may have been different had he…

  • Had patience to wait on God
  • Obeyed God
  • Trusted God
  • Called on God
  • Prayed sincerely to God

What about you?

Who do you trust? Do you put your trust in God first? Or do you think you can do it all yourself? Worse yet, is your trust in people, governments or anything of this world?

Where do you start?

Start by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…


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Whom Shall I Fear [The God of Angel Armies]


Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

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