Kingship History OT


Hey everyone,
I was wondering if anyone knew, that despite God choosing Saul as King through Samuel, why he wasn’t ever given the title Messiah? David was and I believe that there are a couple of other’s considered a Messiah (Annointed one) including Cyrus?
I’m just curious as to why David was considered annointed and not Saul.
Any speculations?


Hi ChristRocket.

I’m not 100% sure what you mean. Not many kings are explicitly referred to as a Messiah in the OT. Though, as it happens, Saul is in fact referred to as a Messiah in 1 Sam. 24.6 (“the LORD’s anointed” is M’shiyach YHWH in Hebrew, i.e., the anointed of the LORD.)

Hope that helps,



I don’t think the word messiah was used to describe any king.

Both Saul and David were anointed by Samuel.



Yes, but there was a divine element in the anointing; it was considered to be done by the Lord Himself.

Jbejon was right. Saul is repeatedly described by David as a məšîḥa Yhwh (‘Yhwh’s anointed’) in 1 Samuel 24:6, 26:9, 11, 16, 23 and in 2 Samuel 1:14 and 16. In 2 Samuel 23:1, David calls himself “his [God’s] anointed” (məšîḥō, 2 Samuel 22:51) and “the anointed of the God of Jacob (məšîḥa ’ĕlōhê ya‘ăqōḇ)” (2 Samuel 23:1).

Then there’s the numerous references in the Psalms to the “anointed” of the Lord (Psalm 2:2; 20:7; 28:8; 89:38; 132:10, 17), which in the original context, would have referred to the Israelite/Judahite monarch. And there’s Lamentations 4:20: “The breath of our nostrils, the LORD’s anointed (məšîḥa Yhwh - same phrase as 1 and 2 Samuel), was captured in their pits…” (This is traditionally considered to be either Josiah or - more likely - Zedekiah.) Ezekiel’s description of the king of Tyre (“You were an anointed guardian cherub (kərûḇ miməšaḥ hassōḵēḵə)” in Ezekiel 28:14 might also count. And then there’s Cyrus in Isaiah 45:1: “Thus says the Lord to his anointed (məšîḥō), to Cyrus…” I could go on.


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