Old Testament Bible Personalities: Saul

King Saul: The ENTJ

The Letters:






Intellectually curious, likes solving complex problems, Likes a challenge

Characterized by:

decisive leaders, problem solvers, goal setters


Can be overbearing, overly critical of themselves and others

*Information for personality types has largely been derived from a culmination of my studies and the sources below. I attempt to be diligent and responsible with my research, as well as original in presenting the information, however with the massive online information on the MBTI and personality assessments, there is likely to be some overlap in information presented. If you find any of the material presented here elsewhere, it is merely  coincidental, however please use the following contact information to provide me with the resource, so that research can be done and  proper citation can be provided if warranted-beamindfoulsoul@gmail.com 

The names and the characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses for the different personality types come from a culmination of the works cited below, my own interpretation and descriptions are used unless otherwise directly quoted and cited. 

If I use any other resource it will be quoted directly, and cited separately from this.

MBTI Manual published by CPP
*Briggs Myers, Isabel (2015, 7th ed). Introduction to Myers-Briggs Type: A Guide to Understanding Your Results on the MBTI Assessment. USA: CPP, Inc & The Myers Briggs Co.
*Disclaimer: Using the MBTI to speculate personality type of Bible characters is only a jumping off point for further discussion and learning from them. Bible characters cannot take the MBTI themselves, therefore what I provide here is merely conjecture. 

Information concerning Sauls life can be found in 1 Sam 8-31.

Before he was king- 1 Samuel 8-10

Reign as king 1 Sam 11-31

Saul’s background:

  • came from a small family in the tribe of Benjamin
  • lived in Israel and tended his father’s fields
  • became the first king of Israel.
  • dad (Kish) was a “mighty man of power”
  • Kish was great great grandfather to Esther’s uncle/cousin Mordecai (Esther 2:5)
  • very tall (head and shoulders)
  • “a choice goodly young man”
  • First King of Israel
  • Death by suicide
  • Had a son named Johnathan
  • Had other children (sons and daughters)

Saul’s Reign:

  • First king of Israel
  • reigned from 1051-1011 BC
  • chosen as an answered prayer by the Israelites who request a “king like the nations around them.”
  • characterized by jealous pursuit of David, fits of rage, and emotional manipulation

During his reign, Saul deteriorated in to jealousy, delusional behaviors, paranoia, and fits of anger and destruction.


  • adept at self perservation at all costs.
  • severely lacked any empathy.
  • pushed the people closest to him away (David, Johnathan, Samuel, his other children).
    hunted David to kill him but never succeeded, however not without a lack of trying.
  • judgmental
  • obsessive
  • unreasonable
  • irrational
  • preoccupied with power
  • used flattery often to get his way.
  • developed a plan to kill David early on and this became his life’s mission at all cost.
  • viewed people as objects to own (he gave his son as a prisoner of war and his daughters were married to David in an effort to manipulate and destroy him).
  • unhealthy mentally and emotionally. It is my belief that he suffered from a personality disorder.
  • developed a severe god-complex, believing his own rules reigned despite clear evidence to the contrary.
  • very disobedient to God’s commands.

2 Growth Tips

Practice emotional awareness

Like Saul, when we do not have the ability to understand ourselves emotionally, we will find ourselves in danger of succumbing to dangerous patterns of thinking, acting, and feeling that will lead us down a path of sin.

Saul was completely unaware of the tight grip he allowed jealousy to have on his life. Had someone told him “you are letting jealousy ruin your life,” I think he would’ve quickly disregarded and denied it. He was not emotionally aware of his own reactive responses.

Recorded for us in scripture, he reacted in fits of rage and fearfulness multiple times, and due to his unhealthy relationship with God and with himself, he was unable to demonstrate any emotional awareness. Subsequently, he succumbed to all sorts of evil behavior.

Feelings left unchecked and uncontrolled

We need to practice understanding our own emotions (i.e being emotionally aware; developing emotional intelligence) and how we think and react based on those emotions. Feelings are subjective and are not sinful, however feelings (positive or negative) left unchecked and uncontrolled will led to a pattern of thinking and behaving that can be very dangerous for us temporally and eternally.

Saul allowed his feelings of jealousy, envy, and rage to go unchecked, which then in turn led to recurrent sinful emotional responses. Had he practiced getting in touch with his feelings in a healthy way, he could have prevented the violent outbursts, the rage, and the homicidal (and eventually suicidal) tendencies that ruled his life. He was a slave to his emotions.

Consider advice:

If Saul were interested in developing a healthier version of himself, thus reaching a more heroic status in life, he would’ve followed Proverbs 4:20-27.

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:20-27

The “I know what’s best for me” attitude

Saul first of all, should have fully considered God’s role in His existence. God clearly put people in Saul’s path to help him (Jonathan, David, Samuel), but he chose to elevate himself in to the God role, taking no direction from any other source.

Samuel was clearly perturbed at this, when Saul visits the witch of Endor and requests to speak with the dead Samuel (1 Sam 28:15). Can you imagine the frustration Samuel felt in that moment? Well, we really don’t have to imagine it that much considering his response, do we?

Samuel hits on a good point in this verse. Saul does not listen to others. This is definitely a trap we can all fall in to. Being closed off to ever considering another person’s point of view or input can very much lead to destruction.

We are not made to do life alone. For Saul, he did not think that anyone else, even God, knew better than he did. He was closed off, prideful, and disconnected, when he should have been open, humble, and willing to accept the God given help he had.

Getting stuck in the thought process that “I don’t need anyone” and “I have only myself to rely on” is dangerous, and sinful. Like Saul, this attitude will, at the very least run people off. Saul could’ve considered the help that he had right in front of him, yet he chose to go his own way and that led to his destruction.

The Benefits

Saul was left alone in the end, and couldn’t even get a servant to help him. Tragically, his life ended in death by suicide, not even able to fulfill his life’s mission of killing David.

Had Saul practiced emotional awareness and listened to those people God put in his life, he would’ve enjoyed a much more fulfilling life. He still wouldn’t have been king forever, and his sons would’ve never succeeded him as heirs to the throne, but he would’ve had an abundant life filled with God’s rich blessings. He would’ve enjoyed the blessing of having David and Samuel as friends and confidantes, had a deeper more valuable relationship with his children, and most importantly, found favour in the eyes of God.

God provided every opportunity for Saul to life an abundant filled life. He had the very best people in his life, but his attitude, lack of empathy, and bitter jealousy was his downfall.

Let’s try not to make the same mistakes as Saul. It’s good to think about how we respond to tough situations and be open to listening to others’ suggestions. By doing this, our lives can be happier and full of the good things God has for us.

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