How long did King Saul reign?

Posted by on Nov 17, 2018

Question: How long did King Saul reign?

Answer: No account in 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles (nor in any other book of the Hebrew Scripture) can be found as to how many years the first king of Israel reigned. We know that King David and King Solomon reigned 40 years over Israel each, but we know nothing about the duration of King Saul’s reign.

However, in the book of Acts Apostle Paul (Act 13:21) tells us that Saul reigned 40 years, too. How did he know that and what source of information did he use to make that statement?

How could Paul have known that King Saul reigned for 40 years unless he had sources outside of the Scripture? And indeed, according to the Rabbinical tradition, the first king of Israel did reign 40 years, and evidently Paul being a Pharisee had known the written source.