Saul (; Hebrew: שָׁאוּל – Šāʾūl, Greek: Σαούλ, meaning "asked for, prayed for"), according to the Hebrew Bible, was the first king of the United Kingdom of Israel (Israel and Judah). His reign, traditionally placed in the late 11th century BCE, supposedly marked a transition from a tribal society to statehood.Saul's life and reign are described primarily in the Hebrew Bible. According to the text, he was anointed by the prophet Samuel and reigned from Gibeah. He fell on his sword (committing suicide) to avoid capture in the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, during which three of his sons were also killed. The succession to his throne was contested by Ish-bosheth, his only surviving son, and his son-in-law David, who eventually prevailed. According to the Hebrew text of the Bible Saul reigned for two years, but scholars generally agree that the text is faulty and that a reign of twenty or twenty-two years is more probable.
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