By Keith Bodner
This large observation provides I Samuel as a cosmopolitan paintings of literature, the place the reader is challenged with a story that's fraught with interpretative chances. In his designated literary studying Bodner lays particular emphasis at the exciting array of characters that populate the narrative, and at the plot, in its layout and its configurations. therefore, a bunch of fascinating episodes and personalities are handed in assessment: from the symbolically charged closed womb of Hannah to the backwards fall and the damaged neck of Eli, to the unusual journey of the Ark of God throughout the menacing Philistine pentapolis, wreaking havoc. Then there's the advanced portrayal of Samuel the prophet, the emergence of the fugitive David as a pace-setter, and the eventual decline, insanity, and necromancy of King Saul. merely via a literary examine of its many ironies and ambiguities, Bodner amply indicates, can the richness of this vintage royal drama be totally preferred.
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Extra resources for 1 Samuel: A Narrative Commentary
In the present example of 1 Sam. 36, the irony lies in the fact that Hophni and Phinehas are not accorded any direct speech in their narrative. Yet their hungry descendent is left begging for bread by using an anagram of their name. ‘In these verses’, Robert Gordon (1986: 84) summarizes, there is set forth the rationale for the disinvestiture of the house of Eli and its eventual replacement by the Zadokite family which, after the rustication of Abiathar to Anathoth for his complicity in the Adonijah rebellion (1 Ki.
It took a long time for Hannah’s womb to be opened, but the dedication of Samuel is by no means the end of her child-bearing career. Whether it is Eli’s blessing or a strictly divine initiative is not speciﬁed, but now that Hannah’s womb has been opened, a ﬂood of offspring burst forth. There are ﬁve further children, although none of them are named. Perhaps this is meant to imply that Samuel—the only one of Elkanah’s many children to have a proper name disclosed to the reader—will be the one responsible for continuing Elkanah’s genealogy.
Also associated with all occurrences are statements about the futility and wickedness of man’s pride and efforts at self-help, whether done in deﬁance or ignorance of the deity. In the early lines of the song it is not difﬁcult to hear Hannah’s story emerge. For example, the struggle with Peninnah is alluded to on several occasions. 6’. Other images, though, are more puzzling to decipher. Why does Hannah use the term ‘horn’ at the beginning and at the end of the song? 10, many translations (such as both the RSV and NRSV) eschew the literal term ‘horn’ for the metaphorical rendering ‘strength’ or the like.
1 Samuel: A Narrative Commentary by Keith Bodner