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Son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, and the first king of Israel. He was anointed by Samuel by God’s direction when the Israelites demanded a king. As the king whom they had chosen and desired, “a new heart” was given him, and he had a fair start in his reign; but he signally failed in obedience to God, by the word of Samuel. He was rejected, and David was anointed, whom for years he malignantly persecuted. Being forsaken of God, without faith or conscience he resorted to one with a familiar spirit, and there heard his doom. (See DIVINATION.) He was conquered by the Philistines, the very people he was to have overcome. Thus royalty, as everything else committed to man by God, at once failed. For details of Saul’s life see SAMUEL, FIRST BOOK OF.