Home Introduction Jesus Mary Apostles Saints Spiritual Themes Genesis Moses Deuteronomic History Educating Arte Full new Screen

The Book of Samuel

Elkenah, or Eli, an Ephraimite, had two wives of which one was called Hannah. Hannah was barren. She prayed in despair to Yahweh and, should she conceive of a boy, offered to give her boy to Yahweh for the whole of his life and never to let a razor touch his head. Eli lay with his wife Hannah the next day. She conceived and in due course gave birth to a son, whom she called Samuel. Samuel was thus a Nazirite, for Hannah kept her promise to Yahweh. When she had weaned the boy, she took a three-year-old bull, a measure if flour and a skin of wine and offered these to Yahweh in the temple at Shiloh. She thus handed Samuel over to Yahweh and both Hannah and Eli worshipped Yahweh there.

These were rough times for the Israelites. It was rare for Yahweh to speak and visions were uncommon. Eli’s sons were scoundrels and mocked Yahweh. All, except Samuel did this.

One night Yahweh called out three times for Samuel. Samuel did not yet understand, young as he was, who called him. But Eli did and Yahweh spoke. He said that Eli’s family had been cursing God so now he would condemn the family and do something that would make the ears of all that could hear ring.

Samuel grew up and though he never spoke of his vision, all of Israel knew he was a prophet of Yahweh.

There was a battle against the Philistines near Ebenezer and Israel was once more defeated. The elders of Israel then sent for the Ark and the two sons of Eli, Hophiri and Phinehas arrived with it in the camp. The Philistines were afraid then of the Ark, but all the same defeated the Israelites. They killed Eli’s sons and captured the Ark. Messengers came to tell this to Eli. At that terrible news he fell backwards off his seat, broke his neck and died. Thus the prophecy of Yahweh came true. Eli had been Judge of Israel for forty years.

The Ark of Yahweh was in Philistine hands for seven months. It wreaked such havoc in the Philistine temples and towns where it was kept successively, that in the end the Philistines returned the Ark. The Philistines put the Ark on a cart and led the cart to wander on its own. The bulls led the cart to Beth-Shemesh. Later from there, the men of Kiriath-Jearim took the Ark to them.

After these events a long time passed and the Israelites again longed for Yahweh. Now, Samuel stood up and spoke to the whole house of Israel. The Israelites mustered at Mizpah and when the Philistines heard of this, they gathered an army and marched against Mizpah. But during the ensuing battle, while Samuel presented burnt offerings to Yahweh, Yahweh thundered over the Philistines and they were defeated. The Philistines were humbled then and one town after the other returned to Israel.

When Samuel was old, he appointed his sons Joel and Abiah as Judges. His sons did not follow Samuel’s example. They took bribes and gave biased verdicts. The elders of Israel the assembled and went back to Samuel at Ramah. They told Samuel they wanted him to give them a king to judge, as all the other nations had. Samuel consulted Yahweh and Yahweh agreed to the voice of the people. He told Samuel however to give to Israel a solemn warning to do as the king ordered. Samuel pleaded with the people and he told them all the disadvantages of kingdom, all the bad things a despot could do to them. But the people would not listen. So Yahweh again told Samuel, ‘Do as they ask and give them a king’.

Thus begins the first Book of Samuel ....

Copyright: René Dewil Back to the navigation screen (if that screen has been closed) Last updated: January 2007
Book Next Previous

Copyright: René Dewil - All rights reserved. The electronic form of this document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source as 'René Dewil - The Art of Painting - Copyright'. No permission is granted for commercial use and if you would like to reproduce this work for commercial purposes in all or in part, in any form, as in selling it as a book or published compilation, then you must ask for my permission formally and separately.