Dora Bas Rivka Silver O'H
The Adventures of Saul in the Coat Room
Shmuel anointed Shaul with oil - the commentators differ as to whether this was the shemen hamishcha, the special oil prepared by Moses, which was used to anoint the kings of the Davidic dynasty. Then, Shmuel gave Shaul three signs. First, he would meet two men who would tell him that his lost donkeys were found, and that his father was now looking for him. Next, Shaul would meet three men, bringing kids, loaves of bread and a jug of wine for sacrifices. He was to take the bread that would be offered him. Finally, he would meet a band of prophets and would, himself, be overcome by a spirit of prophecy and become "a different person." After all these signs came to pass, Shaul was to go to Gilgal, where he would be joined by Shmuel, who would offer sacrifices.
All of these things came to pass. When Shaul was prophesying with the prophets, he was seen. The sight amazed the people who coined an expression, "Saul is one of the prophets now?"
Shaul returned home and was met by his uncle. He told his uncle that Shmuel told him the donkeys had been found, but he didn't say anything about being made king.
Shmuel called a gathering at Mitzpah, where he announced that he was going to publicly anoint the king they had demanded. He drew lots Tribe by Tribe, family by family, until he came to Shaul, son of Kish. But when they called his name, the modest Shaul was hiding among the luggage. The people were impressed by the tall, handsome Shaul and proclaimed him their king. Shmuel repeated all the laws of the King, then sent them home. Some lowly people denigrated Shaul, saying he was unfit. He heard, but he let his natural humility win out. He is actually criticized for this, as a king may not forego the honor due him (see Talmud Yoma 22b, end).
A short Insight into I Samuel, Chapter 10In verses twenty six and twenty seven of our chapter we read, “Shaul, too, went to his home, to Givah, and with him went all the army of those whose heart was inspired by [fear of] G-d. But base men said, 'How can this person save us?' They ridiculed him and did not bring him a tribute, but remained mute.”
The Radak explains, “'Shaul, too, went to his home' – To let us know that he went home as he always had gone. Since he saw that he was not accepted and wanted by all of Israel, he went to his house and did not conduct himself according to the protocols of a king.”
As we have seen already and we will see again, Shaul , though a great servant of Hashem, had a flaw – his unceasing humility.
Why was this a flaw?
The Mishptzos Zahav offers the following explanation.
Since Shaul was appointed King of the Jewish people, anointed with the consecrated anointing oil according to Hashem's will as understood through Shmuel Hanavi, through a lottery, utilizing the Urim V'tumim and with the acceptance of the majority of the people, he should have accepted his mission and subjugated his will, even his humility, to the will of Hashem. Whatever was the will of Hashem, even if His will clashed with the humility of Shaul, Shaul was expected to practice the will of Hashem and abandon his own will, his own humility. As Dovid Hamelech says (Shmuel 2: 15, 27), 'Let Him do with me as He sees fit.” Dovid Hamelech was ready to be placed in any position to carry out the will of Hashem.
By eventually losing the kingship, Shaul learned that even humility must be abandoned in order to be a perfect servant of Hashem.