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5' 1 Samuel 7'215'35: Samuel


Report of an assembly: renewal of kingship and denouement (11:14-12:25) ... B. Denouement: resolution of the theological problem of kingship (12:1-25) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 5' 1 Samuel 7'215'35: Samuel

5. 1 Samuel 7.2-15.35 Samuel Saul Narratives
  • BOT694 Exegesis of 1 2 Samuel

7.2-17 Samuel the Judge
  • Theme
  • "...difference in tone between 1 Sam 7 and its
    predecessors in the book of Judges is best seen
    in the growing emphasis on repentance as a key
    element in the practical solution to Israel's
    problems. In the cyclical pattern described in
    Judg 2, repentance occurs not at all - or at the
    most implicitly. In Judg 10.10-16, the first and
    only reference to Israel's repentance in the
    book, the fly-by-night character of Israel's
    change of heart, in contrast to 1 Sam 7, is
    symbolized by the differing strengths of the
    narrator's statements.... The addition of this
    one word, lebaddo, "alone" or "only," is
    significant if "to serve the Lord" occurs
    frequently in the Dtr, it occurs in the
    strengthened form, "to serve the Lord alone,"
    only here in 7.3,4." Polzin, 74
  • "The author's introduction here in 1 Sam 1-7
    centers around the institution of kingship and
    its role in Israel's turning to the Lord and
    subsequent returning to the land that he had
    given them." Polzin, 76

7.2-17 Samuel the Judge
  • "It does seem likely that the account of Samuel's
    success in the Philistine wars drew its
    inspiration from certain statements about David's
    early career. Note the general parallels in (1)
    the battle reports in 1 Sam 7.7-11 and 2 Sam
    5.17-25, as well as the statements about (2) the
    recovery of captured lands in 1 Sam 7.14a and 2
    Sam 8.1, (3) the administration of justice in 1
    Sam 7.15 and 2 Sam 8.15, and perhaps (4) the
    pacification of the land in 1 Sam 7.14b and 2 Sam
    8 passim." McCarter, 150

7.2-17 Samuel the Judge
  • Three observations may form our conclusion to
    this demanding text. First, the notion that God
    hears the prayers of the penitent and acts in
    response to give new life and new possibility is
    indeed a basic premise of faith in the narrative.
    Israel believes Yahweh answers prayer and
    witnesses to its faith by telling of such
    powerful inversions. Israels faith permits a
    life of bold, trustful repentance, believing that
    God has gifts to give that will change reality.
    Thus the sequence of cry-answer applies not only
    to war but to every circumstance when the power
    of God becomes a new factor that makes all
    things possible. The act of prayer by Samuel is
    not an isolated event of piety but a posture and
    inclination for all of life that is marked is
    marked by trust and yielding. Second, insofar as
    this text concerns war and national public power,
    it is, in our day, the marginal peoples who rely
    on strategies of thunder in the face of superior
    technology.... Third, this text cannot be used
    for the legitimacy of superpower militarism,
    which relies on planning, technology, and massive
    stratagems of human capability. Brueggemann,
    First and Second Samuel Interpretation, 53-54

  • "Mizpah is first mentioned (Jos 1826) in the
    Benjaminite town-list when Joshua reportedly
    allotted cities captured in the Conquest to the
    various tribes.... In the account of the outrage
    at Gibeah and its aftermath (Judg 19-21), Mizpah
    reportedly served as the base camp where all
    Israel rallied before the YHWH to hear the
    victimized Levite's grievance against Gibeah
    (201, 3).... many scholars consider as ancient
    and historical the report (1 Sam 716) that
    Samuel judged Israel on a yearly circuit
    involving Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. Moreover,
    the notice (712) locating Eben-ezer between
    Mizpah and Jeshanah ("the tooth") - cf. 144-5)
    is possibly an old etiology.... significant for
    understanding Mizpah's importance is the report
    in 1 Kgs 1516-22...." Arnold, P. "Mizpah," ABD,
    IV, 879-880

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1 Samuel 8-12

Structure of 1 Samuel 8-12
  • I. Introductory report problems with Samuel's
    judgeship (8.1-3)
  • II. Report of an assembly the demand for a king
  • A. Dialogue demand and rejection (84-9)
  • B. Discourse against kingship (810-18)
  • C. Dialogue repeated demand and rejection
  • III. Story the secret anointing of Saul
  • A. The meeting with Samuel (91-14)
  • B. The consecration (915-108)
  • C. Confirmation and return home (109-16)

Structure of 1 Samuel 8-12
  • IV. Report of an assembly public selection of a
    king (1017-27)
  • A. Discourse against kingship (1017-19a)
  • B. Anecdotes about Saul's selection (1019b-27)
  • V. Story Saul' first exploit (111-13)
  • A. The inspired exploit (11.1-11)
  • B. Result exercise of a royal function (pardon)
  • VI. Report of an assembly renewal of kingship
    and denouement (1114-1225)
  • A. Introduction festive coronation gathering
  • B. Denouement resolution of the theological
    problem of kingship (121-25)
  • 1. Dialogue Samuel renounces the judgeship
  • 2. Discourse kingship and salvation history
  • 3. Dialogue reproach and reconciliation

1 Samuel 8
  • Chapter 8 builds directly upon the experiences
    Israel has undergone within the preceding era and
    serves as the introduction to the final
    resolution to the problem Israel has experienced
    since Judges 1 a need for continuous,
    uninterrupted leadership that can maintain the
    community's faithfulness to the Horeb covenant
    and Yahweh's ongoing demands. In particular, ch.
    8 introduces the elders' realization, which they
    were depicted to have gained especially from the
    harsh lesson of the long period of Philistine
    dominion beginning under Jephthah and ending only
    with Samuel's victor at Mizpah (Judg 10.7-1 Sam
    7.12), that peace and divine favor can only be
    secured through uninterrupted, dynastic
    leadership." Edelman, King Saul in the
    Historiography of Judah, 37

Samuel 8
  • I. Introductory report problems with Samuel's
    judgeship (8.1-3)
  • "...the wickedness of Samuel's sons is outdone by
    their successors, the kings (vv11-17), but it
    contrasts sharply with Samuel's own claim of
    innocence (1 Sam 123-5). In seeking profit (cf.
    Ex 18.21), accepting bribes (cf. Ex 23.8 Isa
    1.23 5.23 Amos 5.12), and perverting justice
    (Ex 23.2, 6, 8 Deut 16.19 24.17 Isa 5.23 Amos
    5.7), they engaged in the worst possible behavior
    for administrators of justice, and they violated
    specific legal injunctions." Klein, 75

Samuel 8
  • II. Report of an assembly the demand for a king
  • A. Dialogue demand and rejection (84-9)
  • B. Discourse against kingship (810-18)
  • "Solomon is known to have used Israelites as
    chariot commanders and as (commanders of) his
    horsemen (1 Kgs 9.22). He allegedly had 40,000
    stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000
    horsemen (1Kgs 4.26 cf. Deut 17.16). The
    horsemen were not cavalry, but chariot teams or
    the men who rode in chariots. The king would also
    appoint citizens to run before his own chariot.
    Both Absalom and Adonijah, in their attempts to
    seize royal power, equipped themselves with
    chariots, horsemen, and fifty men to run before
    them (2 Sam 15.1 1 Kgs 1.15 cf. also 1 Sam
    21.8 22.17). Citizens would also be appointed as
    officers over thousands and over fifties."
    Klein, 76-77
  • C. Dialogue repeated demand and rejection

Samuel 8
  • "...the similarity between the law of the king in
    Deuteronomy, and the so-called anti-kingship
    section of 1 Sam 8-12 (8 1-17-27 12) are
    striking. Both begin with the people requesting a
    king, and the statement is explicitly made that
    they want to be like all the nations. Both speak
    of Yahweh choosing the king, and the limitations
    placed on the king in Deut 17.16-17 resemble the
    "ways of the king" of 1 Sam 8.11-17. And both
    conclude with statements exhorting the king to
    obedience, with the implication that long life
    will result. These parallels are too great to be
    coincidence. the problem is determining what
    relationship there is between the two passages.
    If, as is usually assumed, the Deuteronomist
    produced 1 Sam 8 10.17-27 12, then the law of
    kingship can hardly have been based on the 1
    Samuel passages. On the other side, however, the
    passages in 1 Samuel do not appear to be based on
    the law of kingship. Our suggestion would be that
    1 Sam 8

Samuel 8
  • 10.17-27 12 were based on earlier traditions on
    how kinship began in Israel, and that the law of
    kingship was written on the basis of these same
    traditions. This would then explain the
    similarities." Gerbrandt, Kingship according to
    the Deuteronomistic History, 108

1 Samuel 9-10
  • III. Story the secret anointing of Saul
  • A. The meeting with Samuel (91-14)
  • "God's part in Saul's prophetic activity (v10)
    need not obscure for us the disastrous confusion
    of monarchic and prophetic offices that coexisted
    in the person of Saul only to end abruptly and
    disastrously with him, any more than divine
    command to Samuel to make Israel a king should
    cause us to ignore its essentially idolatrous
    nature in terms of the story's ideology."
    Polzin, 101
  • B. The consecration (915-108)
  • C. Confirmation and return home (109-16)

Riding an Ass
  • "Saul is sent in search of asses, the symbol of
    royalty in the ancient Near East. The narrator's
    care to identify the lost animals as females
    would seem to be intended to emphasize the
    importance of producing offspring and
    creating/carrying on a royal line. Saul's trek
    through the southeastern portion of the
    Ephraimite hill country in search of the
    she-asses seems to serve as an anticipatory tour
    of his future kingdom and thus should function to
    foreshadow plot developments." Edelman, 43
  • "For the use of the ass as a royal mount during
    the coronation ceremony, see 2 Sam 16.1-2 1 Kgs
    1.33-35, 38-40 Zech 9.9. This use continues
    symbolically in the NT in Mt. 21.2-13 Mk
    11.1-11 Lk 29.28-48 The royal archives

Riding an Ass
  • from Mari provide an excellent extrabiblical
    example from the MB II period. In ARM VI
    76.20-25, the prefect of Mari, Bahdi-Lim, sends
    word to the king, Iahdun-Lim, advising him not to
    ride a horse in the forthcoming ceremonies in
    Mari, but rather an ass, because "you are king of
    the Haneans, but you are secondly king of the
    Akkadian". For the state occasions, the as was
    still considered to be the royal mount par
    excellence. The MB IIA Hyksos royal tombs at Tell
    ed Daba provide a graphic illustration of this
    concept with their ass burials just outside the
    royal burial chambers." Edelman, 43

  • "(a) The role of the ro'eh is enacted in an urban
    setting.... (b) The role is enacted at the high
    place in the city. This fact tells us that the
    role was not enacted privately, either at a
    private shrine or in someone's home. The role was
    enacted publicly.... (d) The activity of the
    ro'eh required payment.... e) Enactment of the
    ro'eh's role entailed participation in a
    sacrificial cultus. Such a cultus involved animal
    slaughter and the communal consumption of food,
    the latter element no doubt yet another form of
    payment for the ro'eh service.... (f) The ro'eh
    was in the business of responding to requests for
    information. Such activity is consistent with
    payment of a fee to the ro'eh.... (g) The role,
    or more precisely role label, fell inot desuetude
    at some point in Israel's history. 1 Samuel 9.9
    gives unequivocal evidence of this fact. When the
    term ro'eh lost currency, we do not know."
    Peterson, The Roles of Israel's Prophets, 38-39

Three Signs
  • First sign 10.2
  • That two men would announce that the asses were
    found. This deal with the immediate need of Saul.
    However in 920 Samuel has already informed Saul
    of this. Note that the text does not record this
  • Second Sign 10.3-4
  • Three men give gifts to Saul.
  • "They would offer Saul the bread intended for
    God, and he was instructed to take it.
    Ironically, David was later given bread by the
    priests of Nob, much to Saul's displeasure (1 Sam
    21.1-6 22.11-19). This sign answered Saul's
    second need, his hunger (9.7), and it may also be
    understood as the first installment of royal
    tribute promised earlier by Samuel (cf. 9.20)."
    Klein, 91

Three Signs
  • Third Sign 10.5-6
  • This is the only sign that the occurrence is
  • "The spirit is also said to have rushed on the
    judges Gideon (Judg 6.34), Jephthah (Judg 11.29),
    Samson (Judg 14.6, 19 15.14), and on David at
    the time of his anointing (1 Sam 16.13). Thus
    Saul is seen as a savior figure like the judges
    (cf. 1 Sam 11.16) though the connection of the
    spirit with his anointing is not as direct as it
    is with David." Klein, 92
  • "The point is not that Saul has become a prophet
    - he is never called by the title - but that he
    has experienced inspiration legitimately and is
    now open and receptive to the spirit of Yahweh.
    In anticipation of later events we might add that
    this king of openness to the supernatural has its
    hazards. Saul' receptivity to visitations of
    spirit will bring him little happiness."
    McCarter, 187

1 Samuel 10
  • IV. Report of an assembly public selection of a
    king (1017-27)
  • "It is to be noted that Saul is not formally
    installed as king in this scene at Mizpah the
    people accept him as candidate only. The
    reference to Saul hiding among the baggage
    reflects the requisite humility of the royal
    candidate and not Saul's reluctance to assume
    office." Edelman, 56-57
  • A. Discourse against kingship (1017-19a)

1 Samuel 10
  • B. Anecdotes about Saul's selection (1019b-27)
  • "There are only three biblical passages in which
    someone is taken by lot (nilkad) before the LORD
    Josh 7... here in 1 Sam 10 and 1 Sam 14 where
    Jonathan is discovered by lot to be the one who
    against Saul's command had eaten some food and
    was thereby responsible for the LORD's
    silence.... The public choice by lot of Saul for
    king follows this pattern of "seizing the
    culprit.".... The manner in which Saul is
    publicly chosen or taken by lot, therefore, is
    intended, above all else, to emphasize the guilt
    and sin inherent in the royal office for which he
    is taken. Saul, as Israel's first king, is
    singled out as a personification of kingship's
    sinfulness." Polzin, 104

1 Samuel 10
  • "The obvious question, asked by almost every
    published reading of v22, is why did Saul hide?
    His action presupposes that he knew the lot would
    fall to him, and hence that he had made the
    connection between his anointing and the matter
    of the monarchy (Keil Delitzsch 1880108). The
    text, however, supplies no indication as to his
    motives for hiding so that readers have had to
    fill that gap, usually with some suggestion about
    Saul's modesty and self-effacement (e.g. Smith
    1899 78 Ishida 1977 46). However this gap is
    filled, McCarter is probably right when he says
    that to seek Saul's motive is to miss the point.
    The gap in the text - Saul's motivation - cannot
    be filled conclusively on the basis of the prior
    context, nor will it be filled immediately in the
    subsequent context it is what Sternberg calls a
    permanent gap...." Eslinger, 347

1 Samuel 11
  • V. Story Saul' first exploit (111-13)
  • A. The inspired exploit (11.1-11)
  • "1 Sam 11.1-11 recounts Saul's "testing" as
    king-elect in his purported rescue of
    Jabesh-Gilead from the Ammonite threat of
    disfigurement and servitude. In the unfolding of
    the narrative's reconstruction of the advent of
    monarchy in Israel, Saul was formally designated
    king-elect at the end of ch. 10. According to the
    expectations of an ancient audience familiar with
    the royal coronation ceremony, the candidate now
    would have needed to be tested through the
    performance of a military deed before being
    confirmed as king." Edelman, 59
  • B. Result exercise of a royal function (pardon)

1 Samuel 12
  • VI. Report of an assembly renewal of kingship
    and denouement (1114-1225)
  • A. Introduction festive coronation gathering
  • Gilgal "Here Saul's kingship is "renewed," and
    here also it will be repudiated (13.7b-15a)."
    McCarter, 204

1 Samuel 12
  • B. Denouement resolution of the theological
    problem of kingship (121-25)
  • McCarter argues that the texts is organized into
    a threefold scheme a) first, the prophet is
    contrasted with the king in 12.1-5 b) second,
    the power of the prophet is demonstrated as
    Yahweh responds to the prophet's request in
    12.16ff. c) lastly, the future of the prophetic
    office is foretold in 12.23. Here the prophet's
    role is that of interceding with Yahweh on behalf
    of the people and instructing them in "the good
    and fair way." McCarter, 218-219
  • 1. Dialogue Samuel renounces the judgeship
  • 2. Discourse kingship and salvation history
  • 3. Dialogue reproach and reconciliation

1 Samuel 13
  • Chaps. 13 and 14 deal with Saul's and Jonathan's
    victorious conflict with the Philistines. They
    are set off from the deuteronomistic summary on
    the rise of kingship in chap. 12 by the regnal
    formula in 13.1, and from the conflict with the
    Amalekites in chap. 15 by the summary and
    genealogical verses in 14.47-51(52). Klein,
  • The first verse of chapter 13 seems to take up
    the narrative from 11.15.... Chapters 13-15 forms
    something of a counterpoint to chapters 9-11. In
    chapters 9-11 we have seen how Saul was
    established as king in a threefold sequence of
    secret anointing, public acclamation, and
    military victory at the behest of the spirit. Now
    in chapters 13-15 we shall observe the undoing of
    Saul and the end of his royal power. We shall see
    that Samuel plays the decisive role here as he
    did in the establishment of Saul. Thus we move
    from the establishment of Saul (chs. 9-11) to the
    nullification of Saul (chs. 13-15).
    Brueggemann, Interpretation, 97

Samuels Rejection of Saul
  • On what grounds has Saul been condemned? - for
    nowhere are they precisely stated. As we saw, the
    condemnation if most readily seen as deriving
    from the instruction of 10.8 and it is unlikely
    that the propriety of the sacrifice being offered
    by other than a prophet or priest is really at
    issue. The answer to the question lies rather in
    the ambiguity of the instruction while it may
    seem that Saul has fulfilled the conditions of
    the command, in that he has waited the required
    seven days, the instruction also speaks of him
    being required to wait until I come to you. It
    is the ambiguity that becomes the trap. Gunn,
    The Fate of King Saul, 67

Samuels Rejection of Saul
  • Saul's trespass, always in relationship with the
    general picture of him, could then consist in the
    fact that he did not act in obedience to the
    letter, had no patience, i.e. no faith, and
    allowed the disturbing situation to be the most
    important factor in his decision. Hertzberg,
  • ...the relationship between kingship and
    obedience to Yahweh. On the surface this is the
    story of a broken appointment for failing to
    keep the terms of the meeting precisely as
    stipulated Saul is judged blameworthy. He has
    disobeyed Yahweh, or rather Yahweh's prophet.
    Thus he has violated the terms of his appointment
    as king. Kingship requires obedience. McCarter,

Samuels Rejection of Saul
  • G. Ernest Wright saw in vv. 7b-15a a violation
    of the Samuel compromise. Samuel's initial
    opposition to kingship had been tempered by a new
    system which the charismatic savior's (or
    judge's) responsibilities were assigned to the
    king (in leading the troops) and to the prophet
    (who had to communicate to the king Yahweh's
    authorization for war). According to such an
    understanding of the relationship between king
    and prophet in the early monarchy, Saul was
    violating the principles of holy war (cf.
    15.10-31), and Samuel's outrage is easily
    understood. The offense does not seem to be that
    the king merely usurped priestly sacrificial
    rights since his altar building and sacrifices
    are favorably noted in the next chapter
    (14.31-35). Klein, 127

1 Samuel 14
  • The Philistines permitted no iron-smiths among
    the Israelite...lest they use their skill for
    making weapons. This had the additional
    consequence that Israel was dependent upon the
    Philistines for repairing their agricultural
    tools (Ps 7.13 cf. Gen 4.22). Klein, 127-128

1 Samuel 14
  • Greatly outnumbered and facing superior arms,
    the only chance the Israelites have to capture
    the Michmash garrison from their position across
    the wadi in Gibeah is to mount a surprise raid
    against the garrison itself before the
    Philistines have arrayed themselves for battle
    and are prepared. After gaining control of the
    garrison, the Israelites could then advance
    across the wadi safely and attempt to push the
    Philistines back westward. Jonathan's two-man
    foray certainly was a dangerous undertaking, but
    was calculated to have the remaining guards at
    the garrison think that the two were deserting
    Israelites coming out of hiding who would then be
    let into the post in order to be questioned about
    Saul's position, force-strength and battle plan.
    Once inside, the two hoped to be able to kill off
    the few remaining guards and then probably signal
    Saul to cross the pass, kill off the contingent
    outside, secure the post, and with weapons from
    the dispatched Philistines, move against the
    unsuspecting enemy camp north of the fort. Thus,
    his foray, while daring, was strategically sound
    and not simply a suicide mission in which his
    survival would have to demonstrate Yahweh's
    active protection. Edelman, 85

1 Samuel 14
  • Jonathans faithfulness is evident in three
    parallel statements. First, he says, I may be
    that the Lord will work for us for nothing can
    hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few
    (v. 6). On the one hand, this is a statement of
    profound trust in Yahweh, indicating that the
    outcome of battle does not depend on arms. On the
    other hand, by prefacing his words with It may
    be, Jonathan is careful not to presume upon the
    freedom of Yahweh. Second, Jonathan establishes a
    criterion for knowing if the attack is the will
    of Yahweh (v. 10). Third, the sign is implemented
    and Jonathan concludes that the attack is
    intended by God (v. 12). Brueggemann,
    Interpretation, 103-104

1 Samuel 14
  • Ironically, the imposition of the ban, which was
    intended to win divine favor, results in the
    people's infraction of blood laws, a sin against
    Yahweh that can only bring divine displeasure. In
    contrast to his earlier hesitation to engage the
    Philistines in battle, Saul springs into action
    instantly in order to constrain the people to
    observe what were to have been existing laws
    forming part of the Horeb covenant (Lev 19.36
    Deut 12.23-27). He seems to be back on track
    fulfilling his royal duties as announced by
    Yahweh in 9.17. Edelman, 92

1 Samuel 14
  • Within the kingship regnal pattern, the summary
    of deeds signals the end of the monarch's active
    career and immediately precedes notice of his
    death. In the account of Saul's career, then, the
    appearance of the summary at this particular
    point in the larger narrative must be a
    deliberate move by the narrator to inform his
    audience that Saul's career as king has
    effectively drawn to a close. Edelman, 96

1 Samuel 15
  • This chapter is devoted completely to events
    surrounding Saul's war with the Amalekites. Its
    boundaries are clearly set before it, in
    14.47-52, come various summary notices about
    Saul's reign after it, in 16.1-13, the account
    of David's anointing. Klein, 146
  • The chapter ostensibly concerns Sauls conduct
    of the war against the Amalekites. A careful
    reading, however, suggest that the conflict with
    the Amalekites is simply used as an occasion for
    a formal, authoritative theological statement in
    the mouth of Samuel, Here Samuel articulates the
    most rigorous and demanding claims of covenantal
    theology. Brueggemann, Interpretation, 108
  • The intent of the story line is the
    nullification of Saul. Along with the fate of
    Saul, the narrative portrays Samuel as the
    uncompromising voice of the old covenantal
    tradition. Brueggemann, Interpretation, 108

Does God Repent
  • The reader knows for sure that God can and does
    repent, because the omniscient narrator begins
    the account of the confrontation between king and
    prophet with a direct reporting of God's words to
    this effect (v11) and ends it with the narrator's
    statement about God having changed his mind over
    Saul's kingship (v35). Between verses 11 and 35
    Samuel's assertion that God, not being human,
    does not repent (v29, twice) is thus subjected to
    the critical evaluation of the narrator and shown
    to be off the mark. Matters are really more
    complicated than this when one thinks further
    about how repent is used both inside and outside
    the History, its inherent ambiguity puts the
    reader in a precarious position. As Jeremiah
    18.8-10 illustrates most pointedly, God's change
    of heart toward Israel may be from the imposition
    of good to that of evil, or vice versa. God's
    repentance, therefore, may mean either God's
    punishment or compassion, justice or mercy,
    depending upon the context. For example, God's
    repentance in Judges 2.18 signifies
    compassionate mercy toward Israel in the face of
    its enemy's onslaughts, whereas here in 15.1, 35
    it stands for the opposite of God's merciful
    compassion toward Saul in the face of his
    repeated failures. Polzin, Samuel and the
    Deuteronomist, 140
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