1 Samuel 14:47-51 – A Positive Summary of Saul’s Achievements


1 Samuel 14:47-51


Saul’s career is summarized.


This positive note sounds strange amid the generally negative portrayal of Saul found in the surrounding narrative. At the height of his career, Saul’s military achievements (vv. 47-48) are listed along with details of his family and Abner, his cousin and general (vv. 49-51). Both Samuel (vv. 47-48) and David (2 Samuel 8:1-18) receive similar summaries at the height of their careers. The apparently positive character of Saul’s summary, however, may be offset by the lack of any reference similar to the Lord’s giving “victory to David wherever he went” (2 Samuel 8:6, 14). All we hear is that Saul “fought against all his enemies on every side….He did valiantly” (1 Samuel 14:47-48). That being said, Saul is rightly praised for his military achievements, which expanded Israel’s borders in every direction.