By Keith Bodner
This immense observation provides 1 Samuel as a cosmopolitan paintings of literature, the place the reader is challenged with a story that's fraught with interpretative chances. In his specific literary interpreting Bodner lays unique emphasis at the fascinating 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 evaluation: 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 in the course of the menacing Philistine pentapolis, wreaking havoc. Then there's the advanced portrayal of Samuel the prophet, the emergence of the fugitive David as a pacesetter, and the eventual decline, insanity, and necromancy of King Saul. simply via a literary research of its many ironies and ambiguities, Bodner amply indicates, can the richness of this vintage royal drama be absolutely preferred.
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Additional info for 1 Samuel: A Narrative Commentary
However, as 1 Samuel 3 graphically illustrates, it is not always easy to hear the voice of God. Further, this chapter represents a turning point in the history of Shiloh: on the eve of its destruction, Shiloh becomes a place from which the ‘word of the LORD’ emanates. In the past, Shiloh has been a center for sacriﬁce, and become corrupted. At the end of 1 Samuel 3, it is now a center where the word of the LORD departs with centrifugal force: ‘What had been the ritual center under the leadership of Eli has now become the center for the prophetic word under the leadership of Samuel’ (Birch 1998: 993).
As Fokkelman observes, Samuel himself makes the transition from U>Q (‘lad’) to D\ELQ (‘prophet’), and the word of LORD—rare at the beginning of the chapter—becomes spacious by the end. In terms of this new prophet, it is possible to argue that Samuel is one of the most extensively narrated characters in the Hebrew Bible, since we meet him before he is born and experience his presence beyond the grave. In the story so far we have seen the birth of the prophet; now we have the birth of a new era in the prophetic movement.
5 is a case in point. While the banquet scene of Shiloh is evoked— with the many portions for Peninnah and comparatively less for Hannah— Robert Gordon sees another layer of meaning: the full ones ‘falling on hard times’ anticipates the speech of the man of God at the end of the chapter, pronouncing doom on the ‘full’ house of Eli and forecasting the rise of an alternative priestly dynasty. 3 assumes a heightened signiﬁcance. 3 as ‘Talk no more so very proudly’, but a more literal translation would read: ‘Do not multiply your speech, O Tall one!