People of Bani Israel after Prophet Musa’s death
After the Prophet Musa A.S passed away, the Bani Israel became full of pride and got away from the message that Prophet Musa had brought towards them. They thought that they were the blessed ones and the superior ones, thereby they would be unjust towards the non-Israelites.
These ill-mannered people forgot that they were to preach Allah’s message and instead got lost in colors of worldly life. It was then time to teach them a lesson: a lesson that would remind them of Allah and their true reason for existence.
Allah imposed a dictator on Bani Israel with the name Jalut (Goliath)
A dictator was imposed on them, his name was Jalut (Goliath). He was the worst and most oppressing kind of a tyrant. He tortured them and humiliated them badly. This was a trial by Allah over the Bani Israel.
The Bani Israel were trialed over and over with humiliation and suppression for years. They faced defeat in wars, the weak nation could not rise against their enemies. Allah did not grant them victory. Their conditions were worse than ever!
Their economy collapsed, their villages were ruined, their men were facing hardships of wars, they were expelled from their own houses, their children and women were made captives.
Bani Israel approached Prophet Samael A.S when they lost all their hopes
Finally, when they lost all hopes, they approached their Prophet. They asked prophet Samael to let them fight in the way of Allah under the leadership of a chosen King. The prophet then revealed that Allah has chosen Talut (Saul) as king over Bani Israel.
Talut (Saul) – a normal farmer was chosen as the King of Bani Israel
This was a great shock for the Bani Israel! Talut (Saul) was a noble farmer. He was not a rich man. He did not have roots in Bani Israel and neither had the status that would appeal Bani Israel. (Quran 2:246-247)
The Bani Israel could not imagine an average, low-status farmer imposed on them as a king! Yet Allah had chosen Talut (Saul) over Bani Israel because he was a noble, humble, pious man full of wisdom and knowledge. Indeed, a leader should be having such qualities rather than money, status and wealth!
Yet they did not accept Talut (Saul) as their king until they were blessed with a sign. They were blessed with the ark of Covenant (At Tabut). The Tabut was under the custody of Jalut (Goliath) for years as a trial over Bani Israel.
In Quran (2:248) Allah says that the Tabut is a wooden box that is filled with peace and comfort. It is a sign for believers as it was carried away by Angels and has remains of what Prophet Musa and Prophet Haroon left.
The war between Talut (Saul) and Jalut (Goliath)
Talut (Saul) led the army of 33,000 men who belonged to Bani Israel. On another hand, Jalut (Goliath) was equipped with an army of 400,000 men who were mighty and armed.
In Quran (2:249) Allah reveals that when Talut (Saul) and his men reached a river and were thirsty, Talut (Saul) forbade them to drink at fullest. This of course made no sense as there was plenty of water in the river and men were thirsty. Yet it was a trial by Allah and only a few were able to pass it.