- Saul’s first act is to forbid retribution against those who had previously contested his kingship.
Having been anointed by Samuel, Saul is told of signs indicating that he has been divinely appointed. The last of these is that Saul will be met by an ecstatic group of prophets leaving a high place and playing the lyre, tambourine, and flutes. Saul encounters the ecstatic prophets and joins them. Later, Saul sends men to pursue David, but when they meet a group of ecstatic prophets playing music, they become possessed by a prophetic state and join in. Saul sends more men, but they too join the prophets. Eventually Saul himself goes, and also joins the prophets. (1 Samuel 19:24).
.. In his continuing battles with Philistines, Saul instructs his armies, by a rash oath, to fast. Methodist commentator Joseph Benson suggests that “Saul’s intention in putting this oath was undoubtedly to save time, lest the Philistines should gain ground of them in their flight. But the event showed it was a false policy; for the people were so faint and weak for want of food, that they were less able to follow and slay the Philistines than if they had stopped to take a moderate refreshment”. Jonathan’s party were not aware of the oath and ate honey, resulting in Jonathan realising that he had broken an oath of which he was not aware, but was nevertheless liable for its breach, until popular intervention allowed Jonathan to be saved from death on account of his victory over the Philistines.
.. Saul offered his elder daughter Merab as a wife to the now popular David, after his victory over Goliath, but David demurred. David distinguishes himself in the Philistine wars. Upon David’s return from battle, the women praise him in song:
- Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands 
implying that David is the greater warrior. Saul fears David’s growing popularity and henceforth views him as a rival to the throne.
.. Saul offered his other daughter, Michal in marriage to David. David initially rejects this offer also, claiming he is too poor. Saul offers to accept a bride price of 100 Philistine foreskins, intending that David die in the attempt. Instead, David obtains 200 foreskins and is consequently married to Michal.