14 votes

Did Yonathan, King Shaul's son, have children?

Yes, he had a son Mephibosheth (Shmuel II 4:4).
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  • 1,521
14 votes

Why was King Shaul commanded to kill all the animals of Amalek?

Rashi to Shmuel Aleph 15:3 explains that the Amalekites were sorcerers and were capable of disguising themselves as animals - and for this reason Shaul was commanded to kill even the animals. In his ...
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  • 18.5k
14 votes
Accepted

Is King Saul positively regarded in Judaism?

There are not very many references to Saul in the liturgy. Here is one that portrays him somewhat negatively, in the context of his failure to destroy Amalek (from Yotser for Zachor): זָכוֹר נָגִיד ...
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  • 23.8k
11 votes

Why didn't Shaul know who David was when David fought Goliath?

This is a question asked by many commentators, so your wife is in good company :) I'll bring four of the above-mentioned commentators here: Rashi (Samuel 1, 17, 55) (partial) וכי לא היה מכירו ...
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  • 3,784
11 votes

Did Yonathan, King Shaul's son, have children?

Yes, in Divrei Hayamim I 9:40 it says וּבֶן־יְהוֹנָתָ֖ן מְרִ֣יב בָּ֑עַל וּמְרִי־בַ֖עַל הוֹלִ֥יד אֶת־מִיכָֽה׃ And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal; and Merib-baal begot Micah. So he had a least ...
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  • 927
10 votes

Is King Saul positively regarded in Judaism?

Shaul was great beyond the imagination of the people in his Generation (and how much more so ourselves) and cannot be Judged. Yalkut Shimoni Shmuel II 157: שגיון לדוד אשר שר לה' על דברי כוש בן ...
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  • 11.2k
10 votes

What is the source that says David wrote Psalms / Tehillim while hiding from Saul

Tehillim 54 לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ בִּנְגִינֹ֗ת מַשְׂכִּ֥יל לְדָוִֽד׃ For the leader; with instrumental music. A maskil of David, בְּב֣וֹא הַ֭זִּיפִים וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ לְשָׁא֑וּל הֲלֹ֥א דָ֝וִ֗ד מִסְתַּתֵּ֥ר ...
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  • 1,757
7 votes
Accepted

Why does God command Shmuel to be deceptive?

Radak says "Ain Somchin al hanes" Do not rely on miracles. He also compares it to Yaakov being afraid that Eisav was coming, David fleeing from Shaul and other incidents In Pesachim 8b and Yoma 11a ...
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  • 41.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Why was Shaul prophecising naked?

It is true that just from reading the words in the pasuk, it appears that Shaul was unclothed, but if you look at the different mefoshim, most seem to say that he just "Stripped" himself of ...
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  • 1,394
6 votes
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Demon Possession in Judaism

Like many other beliefs, Judaism doesn't have a clear opinion on the matter, but individual Jews do. Rashi, for example, believed in demons and gives that explanation of ruah raah in Eruvin 45b s.v. ...
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  • 34.8k
6 votes
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How old was Shaul when he became king?

As mentioned, according to the pure Tanach, he was one year old. The Mefarshim don't really think this is meant to be interpreted factually, and so they have a number of ways to explain this, see ...
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5 votes

How does an Orthodox Jew view Saul's suicide?

The Midrash Rabbah (Noach 34:13) says אך להביא את החונק עצמו, יכול כשאול, ת"ל אך--in other words, the prohibition of suicide does not apply in the case of King Saul. Although the Midrash does not ...
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  • 13.6k
3 votes

What is the source that says David wrote Psalms / Tehillim while hiding from Saul

This is certainly apparent from the contents of Psalm 57.
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3 votes
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Why does the book of Shmuel present two origins for the expression "Is Shaul too among the prophets"?

Malbim to 19:24 (h/t Heshy) writes: על כן יאמרו רצה לומר בזה התחזק שנית המשל שהושם בפי כולם על כל המתנבא בלא הכנה, לאמר עליו הגם שאול בנביאים ”Therefore they say” - that is to say, with this ...
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  • 33.4k
3 votes

Is King Saul positively regarded in Judaism?

There are many sources that speak about Shaul Hamelech's righteousness. To add to what has already been said, I will base the bulk of my answer from a Mishnas Rebbi Eliezer, but will also add other ...
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  • 19.8k
3 votes
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By what standards does Judaism hold infants accountable for sin?

I think your question is based on an inaccurate assumption. You are assuming that these Amalekite children are being killed-punished- for the sins of their ancestors. That's not 100% correct. In ...
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  • 2,871
2 votes

Shmuel Anointing King David and Shaul

I think that Shmuel really was afraid that Shaul would kill him (Shmuel I 16:2): יֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֵיךְ אֵלֵךְ וְשָׁמַע שָׁאוּל וַהֲרָגָנִי ס וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה עֶגְלַת בָּקָר תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ ...
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  • 18.6k
2 votes

Why didn't Shaul kill Agag?

The Mishbtzos Zahav posits that Shaul may have made the mistake that non Jews follow lineage maternially(see Kidushin 67b). If one looks closely at the passuk ,Shmuel says to Agag that he is going to ...
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  • 39.5k
2 votes

How does an Orthodox Jew view Saul's suicide?

I don't have sources at the moment, but I seem to recall that some explain that Saul had specific license to kill himself because of he would have been captured, a tremendous chillul Hashem would have ...
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  • 18.6k
2 votes

How a tribe that was just decimated (end of the book of judges) managed to unify all other tribes into a kingdom (beginning of the book of Samuel)?

Rashi (to Judges 17:1) notes that the final two stories of the Book of Judges actually took place chronologically at the beginning of the Book. He notes that the Idol of Micah was said to be around ...
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  • 33.4k
2 votes

Why do some translators translate "to prophesy" as to "speak in ecstasy"?

According to Merriam-Webster, “ecstasy” means, among other things: 1a: a state of being beyond reason and self-control 3: TRANCE especially: a mystic or prophetic trance Prophecy seems to ...
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  • 33.4k
2 votes

Did Samuel use holy anointing oil to anoint King Saul?

Note that in I Shmuel 10:1 וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת פַּךְ הַשֶּׁמֶן וַיִּצֹק עַל רֹאשׁוֹ וַיִּשָּׁקֵהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר הֲלוֹא כִּי מְשָׁחֲךָ יְהֹוָה עַל נַחֲלָתוֹ לְנָגִיד: And Samuel took the ...
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  • 41.8k
2 votes

Blot out the memory of Amalek or kill his descendants?

The prophet on his own cannot add or subtract from the torah. However, Hashem can tell the prophet to do a specific action for a problem that occurs at a specific time (הוראת שעה). Thus Shmuel was ...
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  • 41.8k
1 vote

Why do some translators translate "to prophesy" as to "speak in ecstasy"?

Some additions to Doniel's answer: In Hebrew, the form of התפעל is commonly translated as "to act upon oneself" like להתלבש - dress oneself, so the verb להתנבא can be translated not as "prophesizing" ...
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  • 24.3k
1 vote
Accepted

Was it right for David to hang Saul's descendants for their father's sin?

But isn’t it written: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children (nor shall sons be put to death because of fathers; each man shall be put to death for his own transgression.)"(...
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  • 10.3k
1 vote

Why didn't Shaul know who David was when David fought Goliath?

Unlike some of the other commentators mentioned, Ralbag accepts Saul’s question at face value and provides a practical explanation: רבים יתמהו איך יתכן שלא ידע שאול בן מי הוא וכבר סיפר במה שקדם שכבר ...
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  • 47.8k
1 vote

How did Saul deliver Israel from the Philistines

The 1st verse that you cited I Samuel 9:15 says that "Saul will save my people from the hand of the Philistines". That concept goes along with the beginning of the verse that says that Samuel is to ...
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  • 68.7k
1 vote
Accepted

Regarding Amalek, Was King Sha'ul weak or blind?

Based on the Malbim's explanation to this chapter. Shaul and Shmuel were looking at this campaign from different angles. Shmuel- based on Hashem's command - had in mind to destroy Amalek totally and ...
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