Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1 Samuel 1-4

1 Samuel 1-4

Samuel is born.
Eli's sons are no good.
The Philistines kick the Israeli's collective ass and take the ark of God.  

Shouldn't God have known this would happen?  Or is his real plan about to unfold?  ;-)

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  1. @Bruce,

    His plan is going to unfold.

    These two books are named after Samuel, no only because he was the principal character in the first part, but also because he anointed the other two principal characters, Saul and David. Originally these books were regarded as one. The LXX divided the books into two, and this division was followed in the Old Itala and Vulgate. The translators of the LXX called the two books, The first and Second Books of Kingdoms (bibloi basileon), and the two books of the Kings were called the Third and Fourth Books of Kingdoms. The Vulgate, however, changed the title to Books of Kings. The division into two books seems first to have been introduced into the first edition of Daniel Bomberg's printed Hebrew Bible (Vinice, 1516-1517). The designation "Samuel," found in the Hebrew manuscripts, has been retained in the English translation, although the Authorized Version adds to the title "Otherwise Called the First (Second) Book of the Kings. Which mine does have.

    The author of Samuel is not known. since his death is recorded in I Sam. 25:1;28:3, also there are events that are recorded that happened several years after his death.
    The purpose of these books of Samuel is to relate the account of the establishment of the monarchy, and of Samuel's part therein. Samuel had two jobs. 1 as Judge (! Sam. 7:6, 15-17) and a prophet (I Sam. 3:20). He is the connection between the time of the Judges and the early monarchy.

    More tomorrow if i don't forget. :-D

  2. I hate to quote my blog, but I think the question of the Samuel birth-story originally being about Saul is interesting.

    It's suspected based on a couple of puns that are obviously regarding Saul, not Samuel:

    Pun One:

    1:20 She conceived, and in due time bore a son, whom she named Samuel, 'because', she said, 'I asked (שאלתי) the LORD for him.'

    The OSE points out that Samuel (שמואל) actually means "name of God." (אל + שמו) This passage actually explains the name of Saul, who's name (שאול) shares the root structure of the verb "to ask", שאל.

    Pun Two:

    1:28 What I asked I have received; and now I lend him (השאלתהו) to the LORD; for his whole life he is lent (שאול) to the LORD.' And they prostrated themselves there before the LORD.

    Again, this is a pun on the verb "ask", here used in some sort of dative construction with "him", which is translated as "lent".

    Make of this what you will.

  3. Why is it that we are told the women are barren? Doesn't it seem to you that the men are the problem since all these ladies conceive with no apparent trouble once heavenly sperm is involved? Just think'n

  4. In many of the cases in the Bible the man in question successfully has children by other women (admittedly the woman didn't usually have the option of checking her fertility with another man).