Religion Past and Present

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(783 words)

[German Version]

Saul, Hebrew שָׁאוּל. The first king of Israel (Kingship [in Israel]) is not mentioned anywhere outside the Bible, but his reign is attested sufficiently within the Bible. The beginnings of a state in Israel (II, 1.a) were already visible before him; they met the social and economic needs at the end of the 2nd millennium. Around 1000 bce, Saul, a handsome man from a wealthy family (1 Sam 9:1f.), succeeded in uniting the tribes of the hill country in central Palestine and northern Transjordania (Judah, Galilee, and the lowlands of Canaan…

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Dietrich, Walter, “Saul”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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