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King Saul and Saul of Tarsus Compared

While doing a study on the life of the apostle Paul, I began to wonder if he was actually named Saul after the 1st king of Israel. I began to make comparisons between the two and found several things that they had in common. The name Saul means "desired" while the name Paul means "little". It's interesting to think that Paul started off as Saul, or the one to be desired, but when God got a hold of him, he became Paul the little one. Sounds like the words of John the Baptist when he said of Christ, "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30

  1. Both Benjamites
    1. King Saul (1 Samuel 9:21)
    2. Saul of Tarsus (Philippians 3:5)
  2. Both Transitional Men
    1. King Saul - Transitional man from the judges to the kings
    2. Saul of Tarsus - Transitional man from Jew to Gentile
  3. Both Were the Least
    1. King Saul said that his family was the least and that he didn't feel worthy to be king (1Samuel 9:21)
    2. Saul of Tarsus said he was the least of the apostles and not meet to be called an apostle (1 Corinthians 15:9)
  4. Both Excelled
    1. King Saul excelled beyond those surrounding him (1 Samuel 9:2)
    2. Saul of Tarsus was above many of his equals (Galatians 1:14)
  5. Both Fell on Their Face Before a Prophet
    1. King Saul fell on his face before a dead prophet (1 Samuel 28:14)
    2. Saul of Tarsus fell on his face before Jesus Christ (Acts 9:4-5)
  6. Both Asked the Prophet What They Should Do
    1. King Saul asked the prophet what he should do (1 Samuel 28:15)
    2. Saul of Tarsus asked Jesus, what will you have me to do (Acts 9:6)
  7. Both Wanted Followers of Their Enemy Dead
    1. King Saul attempted to kill Jonathan because he loved David (1 Samuel 20:33)
    2. Saul of Tarsus consented to stone Stephen because of his love for Jesus Christ (Acts 7:58, Acts 8:1)
  8. Both Persecuted Their Enemy
    1. King Saul persecuted king David (1 Samuel 18:11)
    2. Saul of Tarsus persecuted the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 9:4)