Acts 13:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.

New Living Translation
Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years.

English Standard Version
Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

Berean Study Bible
Then the people asked for a king, and God gave them forty years under Saul son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin.

Berean Literal Bible
Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

New American Standard Bible
"Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

King James Bible
And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then they asked for a king, so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for 40 years.

International Standard Version
When they demanded a king, God gave them Kish's son Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, for 40 years.

NET Bible
Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.

New Heart English Bible
Afterward they asked for a king, and God gave to them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And then they asked for themselves a King, and God gave them Shaul, son of Qish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Then the people demanded a king, so God gave them Saul, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years

New American Standard 1977
“And then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And afterward they asked for a king, and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

King James 2000 Bible
And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

American King James Version
And afterward they desired a king: and God gave to them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

American Standard Version
And afterward they asked for a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for the space of forty years.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And after that they desired a king: and God gave them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, forty years.

Darby Bible Translation
And then they asked for a king, and God gave to them Saul, son of Kis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, during forty years.

English Revised Version
And afterward they asked for a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for the space of forty years.

Webster's Bible Translation
And afterward they desired a king: and God gave to them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

Weymouth New Testament
Next they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a Benjamite, who reigned forty years.

World English Bible
Afterward they asked for a king, and God gave to them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

Young's Literal Translation
and thereafter they asked for a king, and God did give to them Saul, son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years;
Study Bible
In Pisidian Antioch
20All this took about four hundred fifty years. After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21Then the people asked for a king, and God gave them forty years under Saul son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. 22After removing Saul, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart; he will carry out My will in its entirety.’…
Cross References
1 Samuel 8:5
and they said to him, "Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations."

1 Samuel 9:1
Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor.

1 Samuel 9:15
Now a day before Saul's coming, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel saying,

1 Samuel 10:1
Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, "Has not the LORD anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?

1 Samuel 10:21
Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the Matrite family was taken. And Saul the son of Kish was taken; but when they looked for him, he could not be found.
Treasury of Scripture

And afterward they desired a king: and God gave to them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

they.

1 Samuel 8:5-22 And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons walk not in your …

1 Samuel 12:12-19 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came …

Saul.

1 Samuel 10:1,21-26 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it on his head, and kissed …

1 Samuel 11:15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king …

1 Samuel 15:1 Samuel also said to Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint you to be king …

Cis.

1 Samuel 9:1,2 Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of …

1 Samuel 10:21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, …

Kish.

(21) Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin.--It is natural to think of the Apostle as dwelling on the memory of the hero-king of the tribe to which he himself belonged. (Comp. Philippians 3:5.) The very fact that he had so recently renounced the name, would bring the associations connected with it more vividly to his recollection.

Forty years.--The duration of Saul's reign is not given in the Old Testament, but Ish-bosheth, his youngest son (1Chronicles 8:33), was forty years old at the time of Saul's death (2Samuel 2:10), and Saul himself was a "young man" when chosen as king (1Samuel 9:2). A more definite corroboration of St. Paul's statement is given by Josephus (Ant. vi. 14, 9), who states that he reigned eighteen years before Samuel's death and twenty-two after it.

Verse 21. - Asked for for desired, A.V.; Kish for Cis, A.V.; for for by, A.V. The forty years assigned to Saul may very probably include the seven years and six months (2 Samuel 5:5) which elapsed before David's kingdom was established over all Israel, while the house of Saul was still in power. The first twenty or thirty years of his reign after the rescue of Jabesh-gilead are passed over in absolute silence. The narrative from 1 Samuel 13. to 31. relates only to about the last ten years of his life (for the correction of the A.V. of 1 Samuel 13:1, see 'Speaker's Commentary'). And afterward they desired a king,.... 1 Samuel 8:5 which the Jews (w) say, was in the tenth year of Samuel; that is, of his government over Israel, or of his judging them:

and God gave unto them Saul; whose name signifies one that is asked; he was

the son of Cis; so the Septuagint read and pronounce the word "Kish", the name of Saul's father, 1 Samuel 9:1 a man of the tribe of Benjamin; not of Judah, from whence the sceptre was not to depart till Shiloh came; the business of their asking a king being resented by God, he gives them their first king of another tribe:

by the space of forty years. The Jews are very much divided about the years of Saul's reign, some allow him but two years (x), and others three, one year that he reigned with Samuel, and two by himself (y), which they conclude from 1 Samuel 13:1 but others (z) think this too short a time for the things done by him, the wars he fought with many nations, and his persecution of David from place to place; wherefore others (a) allow him, some seventeen, and others twenty years; but our apostle ascribes forty years to him, which must be understood both of him and Samuel; with which Josephus (b) agrees, who says that he reigned eighteen years, during Samuel's life, and twenty two years after his death, which make the space of forty years fixed by the apostle; though the clause, "by the space of forty years", may be read in construction with the latter end of the preceding verse, until Samuel the prophet; who, the Jews (c) own, judged so many years: wherefore the apostle is not to be charged with an error, as he is by a Jewish (d) objector; who observes, that from the beginning of Saul's kingdom, or from the time that he was anointed by Samuel the prophet, until the kingdom was renewed to him by all Israel, was one year, and then Saul chose three thousand men out of Israel after that he reigned two years by the consent of all Israel, until he sinned in the business of the Amalekites, and then he was accounted as a dead man, and the years of his reign were not numbered; at which time David was anointed, who must be about twenty years of age, 1 Samuel 16:18 and yet when he came to the kingdom after the death of Saul, he was but thirty years of age, 2 Samuel 5:4 from whence he thinks it follows that Saul reigned but ten years: in all which he is guilty of several mistakes, and advances things he cannot prove; it was not after Saul had reigned one year, but after he had reigned two years, that he chose three thousand men out of Israel, as is expressly said, 1 Samuel 13:1 and that he had reigned but two years when he sinned in the case of the Amalekites, wants proof; nor is it evident that David was twenty years of age when he was anointed, for it was after his unction that he is said to be a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, 1 Samuel 16:18 nor indeed can it be said in what year of Saul's reign he was anointed; so that nothing can be concluded from the age David was at when he began to reign, concerning the years of the reign of Saul his predecessor; and even according to this man's own reckoning, he must reign thirteen years, one before the consent of all Israel, two after, and before his sin about the Amalekites, and ten from the time of David's unction: but that Saul must reign more years than these, and even as many as the apostle assigns to him, may be concluded, not only from his wars with many nations, and his long persecution of David before observed; but from the number of high priests which were in his time, and who were no less than three, Ahiah, Abimelech, and Abiathar, 1 Samuel 14:3 and from his being a young man when he began to reign, 1 Samuel 9:2 and yet at the end of his reign, or at his death, he had a son, Ishbosheth, that was forty years of age, 2 Samuel 2:10.

(w) T. Bab. Nazir, fol. 5. 1. & Temura, fol. 14. 2.((x) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 13. p. 37. Juchasin, fol. 11. 1. Kabbala, R. Abraham, &c. (y) T. Bab. Temura, fol. 15. 1.((z) R. Levi ben Gersom & R. Isaiah in 1 Samuel 13.1.((a) Shalsheleth Hakabala, fol. 8. 1.((b) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 14. sect. 9. (c) Midrash Tillim apud Broughton's Works, p. 599. Vid. Viccarsium, in Psal xcix. 6. (d) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 67. p. 453, 454. 21. God gave … them Saul … of the tribe of Benjamin—That the speaker was himself of the same name and of the same tribe, has often been noticed as in all likelihood present to the apostle's mind while speaking.

forty years—With this length of Saul's reign (not mentioned in the Old Testament), Josephus coincides [Antiquities, 6.14.9].13:14-31 When we come together to worship God, we must do it, not only by prayer and praise, but by the reading and hearing of the word of God. The bare reading of the Scriptures in public assemblies is not enough; they should be expounded, and the people exhorted out of them. This is helping people in doing that which is necessary to make the word profitable, to apply it to themselves. Every thing is touched upon in this sermon, which might best prevail with Jews to receive and embrace Christ as the promised Messiah. And every view, however short or faint, of the Lord's dealings with his church, reminds us of his mercy and long-suffering, and of man's ingratitude and perverseness. Paul passes from David to the Son of David, and shows that this Jesus is his promised Seed; a Saviour to do that for them, which the judges of old could not do, to save them from their sins, their worst enemies. When the apostles preached Christ as the Saviour, they were so far from concealing his death, that they always preached Christ crucified. Our complete separation from sin, is represented by our being buried with Christ. But he rose again from the dead, and saw no corruption: this was the great truth to be preached.
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