Saturday, March 14, 2015

A note on 1 Samuel 16

Initially I included this as a parenthetical aside in my reflection on the Sunday readings for the Second Scrutiny, but it detracted from the message I was trying to convey. Nonetheless, I think it's important to note that Saul, like David after him, was anointed king of Israel by the prophet Samuel (see 1 Samuel 9).

Samuel anointed David king of Israel due to Saul's disobedience (see 1 Samuel 15). Prior to anointing Saul as the first king of Israel, Samuel rebuked the Israelites for wanting a human king like the surrounding peoples, instead of being content with having the LORD as their king (see 1 Samuel 8). Without a doubt there is a lot going on in all this both historically and politically. It is rather Shakesperian.

King Saul attacks David, by "Guercino" Gianfrancesco Barbieri

This prophetic outburst of Samuel highlights a tension in ancient Israel, one that is best brought into relief by reading 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings- 4 installments of the same history- over and against 1-2 Chronicles. The work of Margaret Baker is most valuable in this regard. A great starting point is her short book Temple Theology: An Introduction.

King Saul was a member of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Samuel 9:1). Much later God would call another Benjaminite named Saul, better known as Paul, which was likely his Roman name, as apostle to Gentiles (Phil 3:5).

No comments:

Post a Comment