King Saul (Acts 13:21)

“Then they asked

For a king.

God gave them Saul,

The son of Kish,

A man of the tribe

Of Benjamin,

Who reigned

For forty years.”

κἀκεῖθεν ᾐτήσαντο βασιλέα, καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Θεὸς τὸν Σαοὺλ υἱὸν Κείς, ἄνδρα ἐκ φυλῆς Βενιαμείν, ἔτη τεσσεράκοντα·

The author of Acts indicated that Paul said then they asked (κἀκεῖθεν ᾐτήσαντο) for a king (βασιλέα).  God (ὁ Θεὸς) gave them (καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς) Saul (τὸν Σαοὺλ), the son of Kish (υἱὸν Κείς), a man of the tribe of Benjamin (ἄνδρα ἐκ φυλῆς Βενιαμείν), who reigned for forty years (ἔτη τεσσεράκοντα).  Paul explained how the Israelites got their first king, King Saul, the son of Kish and a Benjaminite.  This is based on I Samuel, chapters 8-11.  All the elders of Israel came to Samuel to ask for a king like the other countries.  There was only one king.  If you had Yahweh, why would you need someone to lead you like other nations.  This monarchy versus non-monarchy will run through the biblical literature.  It also assumed an ideal king, which never came into existence.  According to I Samuel, chapter 13:1, King Saul ruled forty-two years, not forty years.  Paul seemed to impress this Jewish audience at this Sabbath service with his knowledge about the early Israelites.  Do you know the history of your ethnic or religious group?

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