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The deterioration of Saul

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Chapter Summary

Oaths appear to be liberally scattered throughout the biblical story of Saul's reign. The very first order issued by Saul appears to include an oath, or an oath-like pronouncement, which lays a curse on anyone who does not join in the national battle against Ammon. The opening oath in this chapter is made by Abner who disclaims any knowledge of the identity of the burgeoning hero. Saul's first act of national leadership is the war which he wages as a consequence of the aggression of Nachash, the king of Ammon. I Sam. 13-14 constitute the narrative of Saul's actual reign. It is the only section of the book of Samuel in which Saul functions as the divinely and nationally approved king of Israel. Saul's violation of the oath is not simply a breach of honor and piety, but also becomes a detriment to the interests of the nation.

Keywords: Abner; Samuel; Saul



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