King Saul is the only person in the Old Testament of the Bible that was “turned into another man” (1 Samuel 10:6). The word translated turned, hâphak (haw – fak´) means to change, transform. Prior to Jesus’ death, people were not able to change. Whatever kind of person you were when you were born was the kind of person you would be until you died.
Saul was a Benjamite. He came from the tribe that was wiped out because of their immorality. The six hundred men that hid in the mountains were the only ones that survived. Saul’s father Anhiah is described as “a mighty man of power,” (1 Samuel 9:1) he was very violent and known for his oppression of others. Today we would say that Saul came from an abusive home and his father would likely have been described as an alcoholic. The Benjamites were probably bitter and resentful about what happened to their tribe and became rebels using extreme violence in order to survive.
It did not make sense to Saul when Samuel said “And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father’s house?” (1 Samuel 9:20). Saul’s reputation did not match up with what Samuel was saying about him and he was most likely thinking Samuel was talking to the wrong man.
In order to convince Saul to go into a city that had been taken over by the Philistines, Samuel said “And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee” (1 Samuel 10:7). The primary name of Christ, the Messiah, is Emmanuel which means “God with us” (1694). One of the meanings of the word haphak is converted. It appears that Saul had a conversion experience and was transformed as Christians are today. This would have been a miraculous event prior to the death of Jesus, which probably explains why it only happened one time.