1 Chronicles 10:14—Did Saul inquire of the Lord or not?
Problem: First Samuel 28:6 says “when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him.” However, this verse says just the opposite, namely, “he [Saul] did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him.” But how can both be true?
Solution: It should be noted first that two different words with different meanings are used here. Samuel uses the Hebrew word shaal, which usually means simply to ask, to consult, or to request. Chronicles, however, uses the word darash which often means to search for, or to seek after. In other words, Saul did not sincerely inquire of the Lord because He really wanted to know God’s will, but because he was hoping God would agree with his will.
In brief, Saul inquired casually but not sincerely. He went through the ritual, but he was not seeking the reality.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.