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Then a man from that place answered and said, “Who is their father?”

So it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” Bible

“Who is their father?” Although it is not completely clear why the man asked this question, it likely relates to the fact that perhaps Saul had been taken into the group of prophets by a recognized prophet that led the group, and was now in training to be a prophet. If people knew the “father” of the group, they could find out how Saul came to be prophesying among them. Since the men of the town knew Saul and his family, the word “father” is not being used literally, but instead is being used with the standard cultural meaning of “mentor” or “teacher.” In fact, the student-teacher relationship was usually so strong in the biblical culture that if the teacher died or went away, the disciples were referred to as “orphans” (John 14:18). The mature prophets often gathered disciples, who were known as the “sons of the prophets” (1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 15; 4:1, 38; 5:22; 6:1; 9:1; Acts 3:25). Similarly, the “sons” of the Pharisees were not their real children, but their disciples (Luke 11:19).


Commentary for: 1 Samuel 10:12