The Ishbaal Inscription

Dr. Claude Mariottini - Professor of Old Testament

Ishbaal Inscription Ishbaal Inscription

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tal Rogovsky

Saul was the first king of Israel. He was anointed by Samuel primarily to fight against the Philistines, a people who posed a threat to the survival of Israel as a nation. Saul was the father of four sons and two daughters.

Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab, and Esh-baal (1 Chronicles 8:33). 1 Samuel 14:49 adds Ishvi but omits the name of Abinadad from Saul’s genealogy. It is not known why Abinadad is not mentioned in 1 Samuel. Some scholars believe that he was not yet born when the genealogy in 1 Samuel was composed. However, 1 Samuel 31:6 says that Saul and his three sons died on Mount Gilboa fighting against the Philistines.

Saul also had two daughters. Their names were Merab, who was the first born and Michal who was Saul’s younger daughter (1 Samuel 14:49). Both women…

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