שָׁאוּל – Sha’ul, first king of Israel. His reign is approximated to have been in the 11th century BCE and marks the first reference to Israel and the Israelites as a nation, rather than a tribe. Saul was a warrior king whose campaigns against hostile tribes lasted his whole life, up until the tragic defeat at Gilboa, whereupon Saul fell on his own sword rather than surrender. His daughter’s husband, the soon-to-be King David, was elected to the throne in place of his own son.
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