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Answered 2009-02-21 22:32:44

Saul of the Old Testament who knew David is a different person to the man Saul who was renamed Paul in the New Testament. They lived many years apart. St. Paul is the Saul of the New Testament not the King in the Old Testament.

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Was King Saul and Paul the same person?

No, King Saul and Paul are not the same person. King Saul is from the Old Testament best known as the jealous king who tried to kill David. Paul was first Saul in the New Testament, best known as the man who persecuted Christians, and later became Apostle Paul.


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There was no King Paul. But there was Paul the Apostle. His name was also Saul. Now there was a Jewish King named Saul, perhaps that's whom you mean. He was the King that ruled over Israel for 40 years, immediately preceeding the reign of King David. The last years of his life he lost God's blessing on his reign, God then picked David to be the next King. Saul was jealous of how God was with David, and so sought to have him killed on numerous occasions. Saul and his son Jonathan (who was very close friends with David before David was king) were both killed in a battle that saw King Saul's forces defeated by the Phillistines.


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In the Bible, we read about two Sauls who live centuries apart. One was the first king of Israel, who started out good, but later developed a haughty spirit, and lost God's favor. You can read about this one beginning in 1 Samuel chapter 9. King Saul became very jealous of his most valiant warrior, David. Saul tried on many occasions to kill David because of his envy over the attention David received from the people over his great acts. Saul's own son Jonathan became close friends with David, in spite of his father's hatred for David, and the fact that David was many years his junior. David became the second king of Israel after Saul's death. The second one who was named Saul in the Bible is found in the book of Acts. He is Saul of Tarsus who later was known as Paul. In Bible times a person's name was often changed by God, as if to give the person a new start, or to signify their new assigned role. In the case of the latter Saul, he was an extreme persecutor of Christians, even sharing in the murder of Stephen, a disciple of Christ. He later was confronted by directly by Jesus from heaven on the road to Damascus, to where he was traveling to further persecute Christians. After this experience, Saul completely changed his life course and became the Christian apostle Paul. He was even priveledged to write many of the books of the Christian Greek scriptures (or the New Testiment).


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