1 Samuel 7:15—Did Samuel judge Israel all his days, or only until Saul was anointed king?

Problem: In this verse, we are informed that “Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” However, Samuel lived after Saul was anointed king (1 Sam. 8:5; 12:1; 25:1).

Solution: Samuel only gave up his civil authority to Saul, not his spiritual authority. Under Israel’s monarch there was a separation of power. Kings were forbidden to perform spiritual functions (cf. 2 Chron. 26:16–23), and the prophets no longer had political authority. Even so, the prophets, with their direct revelations from God, were a continual moral check on those in political power.

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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.