14 votes

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

Yes, he had a son Mephibosheth (Shmuel II 4:4).
  • 1,541
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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 3,774
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 ...
  • 1,105
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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 1,767
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 ...
  • 1,404
6 votes
Accepted

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. ...
  • 35k
6 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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 ...
  • 13.9k
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 ...
  • 38.6k
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.
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 2,891
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 33.6k
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 ...
  • 22.8k
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 ...
  • 18.7k
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 ...
  • 18.7k
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 ...
  • 42.2k
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 ...
  • 39.9k
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 ...
  • 33.6k
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 ...
  • 33.6k
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 ...
  • 42.2k
1 vote
Accepted

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 ...
  • 6,663
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" ...
  • 25k
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.)"(...
  • 10.5k
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 ...
  • 48.3k
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 ...
  • 69.2k
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 ...
1 vote

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

If we look at 1 Sam 30:16, we see that the Amalekim, having taken the spoils of war, feast and drink and party like there's no tomorrow. In chapter 14, we see the soldiers of Israel also acting in an ...
  • 8,840

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible