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14 votes
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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 ...
b a's user avatar
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14 votes

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

Yes, he had a son Mephibosheth (Shmuel II 4:4).
Dani's user avatar
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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 ...
Efraym's user avatar
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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 ...
Cauthon's user avatar
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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 ...
simyou's user avatar
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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 ...
user15464's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
Geltman's user avatar
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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. ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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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 ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
5 votes

Are there Answers for Objections to Saul's Reign Length?

You are correct that Seder Olam (the earliest work of Jewish chronology, presumed to date from the second century CE) does assign only two years to Saul's reign, and a number of later bible ...
Joel K's user avatar
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4 votes

Are there any opinions about Yitzchak's parentage, or other children from Sarah?

It is safe to say there are no such opinions because they would contradict explicit pesukim She certainly had no children from Pharoah. The Torah explicitly says she had no children after the story ...
Schmerel's user avatar
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4 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 ...
Binyomin's user avatar
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4 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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4 votes
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Should David have killed Saul?

It would seem that it was pre-meditated act by Dovid. Yerushalmi Sukkah 5:4 writes that Dovid had the inner turmoil of striking down a tzaddik. וַיָּבֹ֥א שָׁא֖וּל לְהָסֵ֣ךְ אֶת־רַגְלָי֑ו. וַהֲוָה ...
Dov's user avatar
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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.
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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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 ...
Dov's user avatar
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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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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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 ...
sam's user avatar
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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 ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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2 votes

How did Saul prophesy after his rebellion?

The ketiv says: Then [Saul] too stripped off his clothes and he too spoke in ecstasy before Samuel; and he lay naked all that day and all night. That is why people say, “Is Saul too among the ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
2 votes
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Saul vs Amalek: why so few troops from Judah?

It’s possible that most of the fighters were from Yosef, just like we find by the first war against amalek, that moshe appointed yehoshua, who was from Yosef. It’s brought down in many places that ...
שלום's user avatar
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2 votes

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" ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
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The Matrites and the midrash

We find in many sources that sometimes smaller or less prominent families were folded into bigger ones. For example, the children of Yosef born after Ephraim and Menashe were included in those two ...
N.T.'s user avatar
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2 votes

Why doesn't Shaul kill the witch of En-Dor?

First and foremost issue with the question "Working on the assumption that this event actually took place", if it is mentioned in the Torah it definitely happened. The assumption that she ...
Yoreinu's user avatar
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1 vote

Why does 1 Samuel 14:49 leave out Eshba'al?

The Abarbanel on that passuk explains that it didn’t mention him because he became king later on and so he was discussed there: והנה יראה שלא זכר מהבנים כי אם אשר לא ירשו מלכותו, והם השלשה בנים שמתו ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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1 vote

How did the altar indicate that the sons of Shaul were to be killed?

According to Rabbi Steinsaltz's commentary on the version in the Bavli, they were all passed near the Ark, brushing against it and whoever had to die stayed glue to the Ark and couldn't move. ...
Harel13's user avatar
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1 vote

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

Refer to Rashi on Shmuel alef 18:10: יתנבא. ואשתטי נביא ושוטה מדברים דברי רמזים שאינם ניכרים And he raved. [Literally 'he prophesied'] but Targum renders, 'and he raved.' A prophet and a madman speak ...
Dov's user avatar
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1 vote
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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.)"(...
David Kenner's user avatar
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