Posts in the category “1 Samuel.”

February, 2007

The Prayer of Jabesh-Gilead

Can 1 Samuel 11 be turned into a best-seller?

Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 by Brian Beers
Categories: Humor1 SamuelLeadership   Comments: 2
Show Introduction

The predicament of the men of Jabesh-Gilead in 1 Samuel 11 launched the reign of Israel’s first king. Before Saul took the reins as Israel’s first king, he was holding the reins of his father’s oxen. He is an example for all the men afraid to step up and be the leaders God meant for them to be.

Read more of The Prayer of Jabesh-Gilead

January, 2008

The Darker Side of Samuel, Saul and David

Posted Friday, January 18, 2008 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament1 Samuel   Comments: None
Show Introduction
One of the benefits of going to ETS/SBL is to be able to hear famous authors and then to be able to know more about them when you read their books. It is even better when you can know someone personally and then read their book. I have had this opportunity as I read through a book by Dr. Jerry Vreeland, who was my own professor at Northwest Baptist Seminary. He is familiar to many readers, as he has contributed several posts to this blog over the years (see in particular his post on scratology ). This work has been many years in coming, as I heard an early form of it in a class Brian Beers and I took on 1 and 2 Samuel several years ago. The key characteristic of this book which makes it different from most other books in this area is that is has a relatively negative view of Samuel, Saul and David. This feature of itself is not unusual, as a variety of works have gone this direction recently, but what is unusual is that this is the only work I know of written by a theological conservative who takes a darker view of the three. If you want to be challenged in your thinking of David, then this is the place to turn. The book is filled with great insights as well as much practical application. For just one random example, he points out how the Philistine lords are presented as bumbling idiots in the Ark Narrative (1 Samuel 4-6). But these same idiotic lords are the ones who eventually bring Saul down. The implications about Saul are patent. Another interesting feature of this work is that Vreeland is textually conservative: he follows the MT where very few others do (Samuel is known  for being textually corrupt). He even tenatively takes the MT reading at 1 Samuel 13:1 (Saul was one year old when he began to reign and reigned for two years), viewing the one year as the first year of his reign being the good year and then after the second year the doom was written on the wall. Overall, this is an excellent work and well worth your study, either devotionally or as part of a wider study of 1 and 2 Samuel (although this volume only covers 1 Samuel). While you won't agree with everything Vreeland writes (and he probably wouldn't want you to agree with him in everything!), you will certainly be challenged and encouraged. And at the very least it is a nice change from the usual sugar-coated hagiographic evangelical devotional literature on David. Buy this book and enjoy it! Read more of The Darker Side of Samuel, Saul and David

David and Goliath (again)

A Cheater?

Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament1 SamuelMilitary Issues   Comments: 4
Show Introduction
While watching Dave and the Giant Pickle the other day with my daughter, a question occured to me. Did David cheat? I at least know that David was not the major under-dog that we learn in Sunday School. Slingers were an important part of armies in the ANE and were deadly accurate. And they did not throw pebbles around, but good-sized rocks that weighed quite a lot. A hit from one of these 100 mile an hour stones the size of a grapefruit would incapacitate most enemies. But did David cheat? He was going out to a duel, which seems to have somewhat stylized rules. The other duels we see in Scripture contain only hand to hand warfare, such as the tales of David's mighty  men or the 24 man fight at the pool of Gibeon. But David does not do that: he instead goes with the distance weapon, ala Indiana Jones, who when faced with yet another whip wielding enemy decided enough is enough and just shoots him with his gun. One mitigating factor is that the Philistines do not call for a re-do, but one suspects that they would have been a little scared to see which other rules the Israelites were going to break. Anyone have any thoughts?
Read more of David and Goliath (again)