Thursday, March 31, 2011

1 Samuel 8-11 God Save the King

1 Samuel 8-11

Samuel's sons are rotten priests.  A retelling of the sons of Eli?  The verbiage is VERY similar.

2:22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: [they were] judges in Beersheba.
And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

The people want a king but Samuel isn't buying the idea.  He talks to God about it, who tells him go ahead and find himself a king.
We then get to meet Saul.  Whadda think happens?

I liked this story/parable.  It shows Saul as a common man with a great destiny (seems to be a running theme).  
I like the ending where they find the asses.  How about you?  ;-)

We'll overlook the 'oh, by the way, we smote the Ammonites in the heat of the afternoon sun' thing.
It's like they HAD to throw in a killing to make the story complete.
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  1. @Bruce,

    However Eli's sons liked to sleep around, Samuel's liked money to pervert judgement. They did not really take to heart Deuteronomy 16:18-19, not that sleeping around was good either. :-)

    In 11:2 taking out the right eye was because at that time (as some have written) they fought with shields that covered their left eye, thus taking out the right eye would render them incapable to fight effectively in war. Yet they would still be good for manual labour.

  2. Reading Saul's story in the greater context of the book (a contrast between two kings who have a lot in common but ultimately make very different decisions) makes Samuel a great read. Saul is the perfect foil to David.

  3. Through chapters 8-14, two strands of text run, one pro-monarchy, one anti-monarchy.

    The anti-monarchic strand primarily consists of Samuel ranting at the people. In ch. 8 he sounds like the Tea Party. "They're going to TAX YOU and give your HARD EARNED MONEY to EUNUCHS!!!!" His main point is "dudes, YHWH is your king! DUH! Oh, but you want a human king? So be it! You'll get Saul! Hahahaha! SAUL! Serves you assholes right."

    The pro-monarch is some excellent extended prose, involving the stories of a charismatic Saul. It uses the term נגיד "prince/captain" rather than מלך "king".

    The breakdown is:

    Anti-monarchy: Ch. 8, 10:17-27, 12.
    Pro-monarchy: Ch. 9, 10:1-16, 11, 13-14.

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  5. @Scott,
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