Study Guide

1 Samuel Chapter 10

Chapter 10

Frenzy, Frenzy, Frenzy

  • Without warning, Samuel pours olive oil over Saul's head and kisses him on the forehead. Um, awkward?
  • Now, Saul is king whether he likes it or not—that's just how Samuel rolls.
  • Saul is told that God has anointed him, but Saul (wisely) is skeptical, so Samuel tells him there will be a series of signs if he needs proof:
  • (1) Saul will meet two men who will tell him that his father's donkeys are safe.
  • (2) He will meet three men carrying various items.
  • (3) Saul will come near a place where Philistine troops are stationed. He'll meet prophets who are playing various instruments, and they'll be in a prophetic frenzy. Saul will also be in the prophetic frenzy when the Spirit of the Lord touches him because when that happens, one should dance like no one's watching.
  • A prophetic frenzy is a fancy way to say acting strangely. Samuel tells Saul he will go to Gilgal and wait seven days until Samuel comes with some sacrifices. All the things that Samuel prophesied came to pass because Samuel would be a pretty bad prophet if they didn't. Saul went through his own prophetic frenzy then returned home (1-13).
  • Saul's uncle questions him about his journeys, so he conveniently leaves out the part where he became king of Israel. From here, we expect Saul and Samuel to meet up at Gibeah, but the text takes a twist (14-16).
  • Samuel calls all the people of Israel together and he casts lots to see who'll become king. After whittling down options by casting the lots, Saul is eventually chosen. Most scholars believe that there are two separate traditions for Saul's election as king of Israel. Here, we see the Bible trying to combine the two together to please everyone. How thoughtful of those ancient writers (17-24).
  • Samuel gives Saul the skinny on all the responsibilities as king and then everyone goes home.
  • Not long into Saul's reign, he's faced with his first challenge: Nahash, king of the Amorites, decrees that he would gouge out the eye of each man and prevent them from overthrowing his rule.
  • However, seven thousand men have escaped to a city called Jabesh-gilead. Goodness gracious us, what will Saul do? (25-27)

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