Saul was the first king of Israel (1029-1005 BCE). His life was full of drama and tribulations, and ended tragically. The book of Samuel portrays Saul as a colorful personality with excesses--as the classic tragic hero. Moreover, Saul's excellent virtues qualified him for the monarchy. He had courage and military power. Saul was modest and shy. In contrast to the positive portrayal of Saul in some biblical narrative, many other passages in the Hebrew Bible portray Saul negatively--as a paranoid man who chased demons, as obsessed with the pursuit of David. Thus he struggles constantly with his own family members as well as his circle of friends. From the battle at Michmas till the last day of his life, fear is Saul's constant companion. Readers of this volume will rediscover Saul, will have a better understanding of his achievements and failures as the first king of Israel. We trust that this study will afford a provocative and useful insight into the character of Saul. ""After all the biographies of King David published during the last few years, it is refreshing to find one devoted to his predecessor and rival, King Saul. The appropriately named Shaul Bar presents us with a careful literary and historical reading of the Saul traditions, drawing not only on the biblical text, but also on the post-biblical, midrashic literature, conveying a well-rounded portrait of Israel's tragic first king and his place in history and tradition. Bar's book is both grounded in up-to-date scholarship and accessible to the general reader. He is to be thanked."" --Carl S. Ehrlich, York University Shaul Bar is Professor of Judaic Studies in the Bornblum Judaic Studies program at the University of Memphis. He is the author of A Letter That Has Not Been Read (2001), as well as I Deal Death and Give Life (2010).