Dr. Ted Hildebrandt, OT History, Lit., and Theology, Lecture 22
© 2012, Dr. Ted Hildebrandt
Video bad about 27 minutes in to the end
This is Dr. Ted Hildebrandt in his Old Testament, History, Literature and Theology Course Lecture 22 on the book of 1 Samuel: Eli, Samuel, and the selection of Saul as the first king of Israel
A. Roles of Samuel: prophet, priest, judge, and king maker [0:00-4:24]
We had finished the book of Judges and we said that as the end of the book of Judges pointed forward through the Levite’s concubine to Saul. We said the book of Ruth points forward to David. So these two kings of Israel are going to come into play in 1 Samuel. Basically Samuel, Saul, and David are going to be the big characters of the book of 1 Samuel.
why is Samuel so highly respected? This guy is one of the very highly respected
people in the Old Testament. It turns out if you look over to Jeremiah chapter
15, let me just read this from the book of Jeremiah. Now Jeremiah is hundreds
and hundreds of years later, Jeremiah is probably around 600 BC, Samuel is
probably about 1100 BC so there is about 500 years difference there. Will
people remember you for 500 years? Here’s, 500 years later, what Jeremiah said
about Samuel, “And the LORD said to me, even if Moses and Samuel were to stand
before me, my heart would not go out to these people, send them away from my
presence.” “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me,” God says, “I
still wouldn’t listen to them.” Now, by the way, is Moses the great intercessor
for his people in Old Testament times--Moses in the wilderness? Moses and Samuel
are grouped together by Jeremiah here. So this is very interesting--Moses and
Samuel. Those are two huge figures, and Samuel is said to be with Moses on that
Samuel is going to be the last of the great judges. So with Samuel we’re probably down to about 1100 BC, I don’t want you to know his exact date, but it’s about 1100 BC. The date that we know is David is what? David’s 1000 BC. David is going to be a young kid. So Samuel is the last of the great judges.
He’s also a priest. He is given over to Eli and reared as a priest and he will be a priest ministering at the tabernacle of God. He is also a prophet. He speaks for God. What is the great message of the prophet? The great message of the prophet is, “Thus saith the LORD.” The prophet speaks for God. He usually says, “repent.” But the prophet says, “Thus saith the LORD.” So Samuel is going to be a prophet, priest and when I say prophet, priest… and what comes next? Prophet, priest, and king. Doesn’t your brain go prophet, priest, and king? But he is a prophet, priest, and judge. Why is he a judge? Because there is no what in Israel at this time? There is no king.
Samuel is going to be the one who is the first king maker, God’s going to ultimately pick the first kings, but Samuel, on a human level, will choose and anoint with oil [messiah] the first two kings of Israel for God. So Samuel is going to anoint Saul and then he’s going to anoint David. Samuel’s going to be involved in that.
There is a huge transition taking place in Israel now. This transition is from the judges period to the kingship. The kingship is going to last what? How long will Israel have kings? “And he shall reign forever and ever.” So the kingship is being set up now with Samuel. Samuel is going to initiate that and he is going to anoint the first two kings of Israel [Saul, David]. The kings are going to go on. Jesus Christ himself is going to be called the son of David in the kingship over Israel. So kingship or monarchy is being set up here. This is a really important point in Israel’s history.
B. Authorship and literary pattern of 1 Samuel [4:25-7:26]
Now, did Samuel write the book of Samuel? The answer is: No. Samuel is dead in chapter 28, and from what I’ve been told, it’s pretty hard to write when you’re dead. So he is dead in 1 Samuel 28. So the book is about Samuel not necessarily written by him. Now, probably the guy had notes. Samuel probably had diaries, journals, and things that people who wrote this book might very well have worked from the prophetic record that he had but as far as writing it, he is dead in chapter 28, so he is not writing beyond that point.
here’s the literary pattern. We had a literary pattern in the book of Judges
and here’s the literary pattern for the book of Samuel. It’s actually similar.
First of all, you’ve got: the demise of an old leader. So there will be an
old leader, the old leader in the book of Samuel will be Eli. There will be the
demise of the old leader. The old leader’s going to be bad and go away. Then
secondly, God will select a new leader. Initially the old leader was Eli and then
Samuel will be the new leader. So the new leader will take over and there’s a
succession of leadership. This change of leaders takes place between, in one
case, Eli to Samuel, and then from Samuel to Saul, and from Saul to David.
Then what happens is, and this is important, what does the new leader in 1 Samuel, have to do? He does it every time: the leader must win a military victory. So after the new leader selected by God, the first thing a new leader does is wins a military victory. This will happen, by the way, David, gets anointed king in chapter 16. Guess what happens in chapter 17? What is David’s great victory? Everybody in the room knows it! What is David’s great victory? Goliath! So he is anointed (ch. 16) and then what’s the first thing he’s got to do? He’s got to win a military victory. So David defeats Goliath in the next chapter (ch. 17) after he’s anointed. So you get this connection between the selection and the deed that he does.
Then what happens? There are problems with the new leader. Saul has problems, David has problems, Samuel has problems, and basically the demise of an old leader and it cycles back around.
So that’s basically how the book works here. Dr. Borgman, who has written a book on David, and actually I’ve got a lecture posted by Dr. Borgman, who notes in the book of Samuel there are all these echoes. In other words, the book of Samuel says the same thing multiple times. So there are these echoes in the book, and you’ve got to listen for those echoes or these repetitions that are in the book of Samuel. Repetition is one of the keys to understanding 1 Samuel. So we will see that as we go on but this is the basic structure.
C. The Samuel Cycle: Demise of an Old Leader—Birth of Samuel [7:27-14:31]
is our first cycle? This is our first Samuel cycle. So let’s walk through this.
Our first cycle is the demise of the old leader. 1 Samuel chapter 1, our old
leader is Eli. Eli is a priest of the Most High God. Where do priests minister
at this time? The Jews don’t have Jerusalem because Jerusalem won’t be captured
until the time of David. David will be the one who captures Jerusalem. Jerusalem
is owned by the Jebusites at this time. So where is the tabernacle set up with Eli?
Does anybody remember the name of the place? Shiloh. There is a place called
Shiloh. The tabernacle was set up for a couple hundred years at Shiloh. So Eli
is the priest at Shiloh in chapters 1 and 2.
Then there’s a woman named Hannah. My mother always used to say, whenever she got really angry, “So help me Hannah!” There is a husband named Elkanah and he’s got two wives. Have we seen this before a husband with two wives? Yes, we’ve seen this before. Remember Jacob with Rachel and Leah. Here we’ve got two wives again. One is called Hannah, the other Peninnah. Who has all the kids? Peninnah has all the kids. Hannah can’t have kids. Is that a problem in the ancient world? We’ve seen the story of the barren woman. Have we seen this story over and over again? So Elkanah has this wife Hannah, he loves her but she can’t have children. She’s heart broken, she wants to have children and it says the LORD had closed up her womb. Her rival, Peninnah, was basically “provoking her in order to irritate her.”
Now, Hannah’s husband Elkanah isn’t the smartest man in the world--not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Here is what Elkanah says to his wife. His wife is totally distraught, she can’t have children, her rival is egging her on, just irritating the day lights out of her. So Elkanah comes to Hannah and he wants to say something really comforting to her, and this is what he says: listen to this guy, “Elkanah her husband would say to her, ‘Hannah why are you weeping, why don’t you eat?’” Do you notice what is going on? She is distraught. How many people when they get distraught don’t eat? He notices she’s not eating. Is that one of the signs of depression that a person doesn’t eat? And so he picks up on this and he’s says, “Why don’t you eat? Why are you down hearted?” And then he makes this statement, “Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” What’s the answer to that rhetorical question? Of course not! I want the ten sons! “Don’t I mean more to you, Hannah, than ten sons?” No. So you shouldn’t ask those kinds of questions. You just don’t ask those kinds of questions. So this guy is a little off there, he should have known his wife better and that’s a bad question to ask.
So Hannah then makes this vow in chapter 1 verse 11 “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant, but give her a son then,” check this out “I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life and no razor will ever be used on his head.” What has she dedicated her son to right from birth? Yes, this is a Nazirite vow. Is Samuel going to be a Nazarite from birth? Now, who is the other Nazirite from birth that we know about? Samson. By the way, is Samuel going to be big and strong? No. But he is dedicated to the Lord right from birth. His mother says no razor will come on his head.
Now, here is the problem, Eli, who is the priest, sees her praying to God, and listen to what Eli’s reaction is: “As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.” Verse 13 of chapter 1, “Hannah was praying in her heart and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk. And he said to her, ‘How long will you keep getting drunk? Get up! Get rid of your wine.’” Eli rebukes her. This woman pouring out her heart to the LORD. So Eli jumps all over her case and says, “you’re a drunk woman and get out of here. You’re drunk and shouldn’t be in the tabernacle of the Lord.” It’s really kind of ironic, isn’t it that Eli rebukes Hannah? Well, let me just say why this is ironic. Eli rebukes Hannah for being drunk, but what were Eli’s own kids doing? Were they messing around with women in the front of the tabernacle? So my guess is, have you ever seen a parent project the evil of their kids onto other kids? I think what Eli is saying, he knows his kids are messing around with these women, doing immoral behavior in the tabernacle area, and so he thinks she is one of these immoral women, who’s drunk and getting into trouble in the tabernacle. So he rebukes her. But it turns out, is she really righteous? Is she more righteous, in a certain sense, than he is? So he projects what his own kids are doing onto Hannah and this was wrong.
God comes and gives Hannah a son. The son’s name is “Samuel.” Samuel is a beautiful name. You guys know this first word, remember? What does “Shema” mean? Does anybody remember that: “Shema Israel”? Deuteronomy 6:4. “Hear,” exactly, “hear.” So Shema means “hear.” “Heard of,” and what is the last part of his name? “Heard of El,” or “El listened.” Who is El? El is God. “God listened.” So what does Samuel’s name mean? “God heard,” “God listened,” God heard her prayer and gave her Samuel. So, “God listened,” it’s a beautiful name--Samuel. So Samuel is named and God listened and gave Hannah this son.
Hannah then dedicates him to the Lord by giving him over to Eli. By the way, who else made a vow to God and may have delivered over to God their child? Does that sound a little bit like Jephthah? Remember Jephthah made a vow and there may be an interesting parallel there.
D. Eli’s Sons Hophni and Phinehas [14:32-17:21]
Now, Eli’s sons, what did we learn about these guys--Eli’s sons? There are two big problems with what they were doing. There were priests under Eli; Eli would be the main high priest. His sons Hophni and Phinehas were ripping off meat when people brought sacrifices. Did the priests get to eat some of the meat? If it were a purification offering, or if it were a sin or guilt offering, the priests got to participate in that. If it was a whole burnt offering, the priests did not get that because it was wholly burned up to the Lord. But his kids, whenever they saw a sacrifice, they figured, “hey, it is steak time, we’re going to chow down.” So they basically stuck their fork in and took whatever meat they wanted and totally defiled God’s sacrifice. All the people knew this. When they brought their sacrifices to God for their sins, the priests were ripping them off. So it totally defiled God’s sacrificial system.
They were also committing immorality with women by the tabernacle. So these women would bring offerings and pretty soon the guys are trying to get them to go to bed. So this was really bad. Now, it’s even worse than that because in pagan religions, there is Baal worship and Asherah worship. Baal worship was a fertility god. Do you guys remember Baal in the Old Testament? Baal was a fertility god. Part of the worship service for Baal worship was basically that a guy would go into the priestess and priestess would be housed in the temple. The guy would go into the priestess, if she conceived and she was fertile, there is all sorts of imagery here. Actually, I don’t want you to think about the imagery, I want you to think about the ideas. But basically if the guy goes in and impregnates the priestess, and she is fertile that meant his land would be fertile. Do you see the similarity? It was a fertility rite and they would practice these fertility rites in Israel. By the way, is that pretty immoral? It was part of the worship of Baal, is that really gross? But you get the idea, the guy wanted his land to be fertile so he would go see the priestess and there was this kind of sympathetic or symbiotic relationship between what happens with the woman and what happens with his land. So what you have here is kind of an aping of that same thing in that tabernacle courtyard with Israel, which is totally against what Jehovah God wanted.
E. Samuel’s childhood [17:22-18:29]
In contrast to Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s sons, you have this wonderful statement in chapter 2 verses 25 and 26, let me read this statement. Who comes to mind when I read this statement? “Eli’s sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke. For it was the Lord’s will to put them to death. And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.” Does anybody remember, let me just read this again, of whom also is this line said almost word for word? “And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.” Does anybody remember over in Luke chapter 2 it says, “Jesus grew in stature and in favor with God and with man”? That is almost exactly the same phrase that is used of Jesus. It is used of Samuel here. So it’s kind of interesting, Samuel is a good person. He grew up and grew in favor with the Lord and with men.
F. Eli as a father [18:30-19:41]
how is Eli as a father? It turns out that Eli as a father seems to be a weak
man and he seems to be a weak father. His sons were doing evil, and he didn’t
stop his sons from doing it. He is a weak father and has bad sons. Now I want
to look at this kind of father-son relationship as it goes on in the book of
Samuel. When I was younger, I studied the book of Proverbs, I was a young
father, in my mid-twenties and I had my first child. I really didn’t know what
it was like to be a father, and so I decided I was going to do my academic work
and I was going to study the book of Proverbs. Why did I study Proverbs for
most of my life? Because Proverbs is: as a father speaks to his children. So
I wanted to be a good father. I thought I am going to be this good father and
then that would guarantee me good kids, right? If I’m a good father, then my
kids will turn out right because I’m a good father. I just want to expose
some of that, I have grown up a lot since then, but I just wanted to point this
out. We will come back to this but Eli was a weak father.
G. The Call of Samuel [19:42-24:38]
about the call of Samuel? The call of Samuel in chapter 3 is a beautiful story.
Do any of you teach children in Sunday school? This is a great Sunday school
story. Samuel is sleeping in his bed, Eli, the priest, is sleeping in his bed,
and all of a sudden the Lord comes to Samuel at night and says, “Samuel,
Samuel.” Samuel wakes up and says, “Whoa! Eli called and so he goes trucking in
to Eli and says, ‘Eli, what do you want?’ Eli says, ‘I didn’t call you go back
to bed.’” Do kids ever get up at night, and when something scares them and run
into their parents? How many times do our kids, when we had thunder and lightning
in Indiana or tornadoes and all of a sudden the kids, ZOOM, they’re out of
their beds and you wake up and your kids are crawling all over you because they’re
So Eli sends him back. “Samuel, Samuel.” Samuel wakes up again and runs into Eli. “Eli, what do you want?” “I didn’t call you!” By the way, when you’re a parent, are kids going to wake you up in the middle of the night? Yes. It’s part of the game, unless you’ve got some kids that are highly sedated. No, don’t do that! Seriously, some kids are different, some kids sleep through the whole night, other kids will keep you up all night repeatedly. I wish for you the kind that sleep through the night, it’s quite different.
So anyway, finally the third time, Eli figures it out and says “I’m not calling this kid. It must be God calling him.” So Eli turns to him in chapter 3, “And Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.” Chapter 3, verse 9, “So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go lie down, and if he calls, you say, Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’” Do you get the play on words here? What’s Samuel’s name? Listening. So there is a play on Samuel’s name here. “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” The heard of God one, is now the one listening.
So Samuel went and laid back down in his place. The Lord came and stood there calling as he did those other times, “Samuel, Samuel.” Samuel says, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” The Lord said to Samuel, now this is interesting and this is heavy. God is speaking to Samuel. “See I am about to do something in Israel, that will make the ears of everyone who hears it tingle. At that time, I will carry out against Eli, everything that I spoke against his family from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about. His sons made themselves contemptible and he failed to restrain them.” Is one of the roles of a father to restrain his children? Yes! Can your parents restrain you? How many of you have snuck and done stuff that your parents have no idea what you did? He is judged here because he didn’t restrain his kids from doing this evil in the presence of the Lord. “For I told him I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about. His sons made themselves contemptible and he failed to restrain them. Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, the guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.”
Now, you’re little boy Samuel. Who is rearing you? Eli is your step-father, he’s the priest. Do you look up to this guy who is rearing you? Samuel looks up to him. He is his hero and now the next morning, what is the first thing Eli is going to ask? “Hey, Samuel, Samuel, what did God say to you?” Would you want to be little boy Samuel telling Eli that God says, “Eli your family is fried. It’s over.” Would you want to be a little boy doing that? By the way, is that the role of a prophet, however? And so sure enough, the next morning, Eli gets up and Samuel answers, “Here I am,” and he says, “What is it he said to you?” It says down in verse 17, Eli asked, “Don’t hide it from me, God deal with you ever be so severely if you hide anything from me.” So Samuel comes out with it and basically tells him that he and Eli’s family are history because of what he did.
So Eli is rejected, and Eli’s two boys, Hophni and Phinehas, are rejected. God, now, is selecting a new leader. The new leader is Samuel. This little boy Samuel is called of God. This is a call of God. You know we talk about vocation and the call of God. This is Samuel’s call of God and it’s really kind of a neat call. It has that kind of little kid feel to it. By the way, can little kids relate to this story? It’s a great story for Sunday school class and for little kids; even for adults.
H. Geographical Setting: Map work [24:39-26:49]
Now, the demise of an old leader, you’ve got Eli, what happens now? He knows he’s history, but before we get to the picture, I just want to say, there is a map coming up here, and I want to kind of layout the territory for this. First of all, do you see Shiloh here? The Philistines are going to be out here in the coastal plain. This is the Philistine plain by the Mediterranean Sea. The picture is turned sideways in a Jewish way of thinking about it. Here is the Mediterranean Sea, the Philistines are going to be out here, the Jews are in the mountains. Here’s Shiloh. Is Shiloh really well protected? This is where the tabernacle of God is going to be. By the way what is down here? Jerusalem is to the south about there. Do you see this route that goes right here? This is called the Ridge Route. It goes from north to south from Jerusalem, to Bethlehem, to Hebron on down. This is called the Ridge Route. Is Shiloh a little bit off the road? Kind of like Grapevine Road or Gordon College. It is a little bit off the main drag. Is Shiloh really well protected by the mountains? The Philistines are down here, do the Philistines have to go all the way up through the mountains to get to Shiloh? So it’s very well protected. Shiloh is there, that’s where the tabernacle was for a couple hundred years.
Now what’s going to happen is, they’re going to bring the Ark out of Shiloh and they are going to bring it down this road. That actually exists to this day. They are going to bring it down to Aphek. Aphek is where the Philistines are going to be, and they are going to do battle out here on the Philistine coast plain. But who is going to have the advantage when they fight on the plains? The Philistines. So the Philistines are actually going to capture the Ark of God here. This is where Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s kids, are going to die right here at Aphek. There’s going to be a battle, and it is going to be down here. The Ark is going to be lost and they are going to haul the ark down to the Philistine cities. So this is kind of the battle scenario. The Jews are safe up in the hills but are not safe out on the Philistine plains. There is going to be a battle there. So that’s kind of the geography of it.
I. The Demise of an Old Leader: Eli [26:50-30:22]
the demise of an old leader, they go back, and they are going to fight the Philistines.
So the Ark is going to be captured here and lost to Israel. They bring the ark
out, and when I was younger, I used to think they were wrong for bringing the
ark out to fight the Philistines. They may have been wrong, partially, but has
Israel ever brought out the ark to battle before? When we were in the book of
Joshua, does anybody remember a battle that they had where the ark led the way?
Yes, when they walked around Jericho. The ark led them around Jericho once a
day for seven days and seven times on the seventh day. The ark led them into
battle. So they had precedence for doing this from over in Joshua and it turns
out Saul himself will bring out the ark and take it out to battle. So in the
book of Samuel itself, they actually do this again taking the ark into battle.
The problem, I think, with this is the idea that you’ve got God in a box. Did anybody ever see Raiders of the Lost Ark? All of a sudden you open the Ark and everybody’s face melts down, it’s special effects, Indiana Jones style. So what’s going to happen is, they bring out the ark, and they think they’ve got God in this box. If we bring this box out, then God will have to fight for us because God is on our side. We’ve got God captive in this box. God’s in this box, therefore God must be on our side. What I’m suggesting is, is God captive to this box? And the answer is, no.
I wonder sometimes, how many of us, including myself, think about God as in the box, but now that God is in the box of our mind, God is on our side? Can we always be guaranteed that God is on our side? Whose side is God on? Is God on God’s side? You know what I’m saying? So we can’t manipulate God, I think we get comfortable and we build boxes that we put God in our minds, and we get comfortable with the god in our minds. We think about God in a certain way and we get comfortable about it. This is one of reasons why I like this class because everyone is used to the lovey-dovey God who is up in heaven and loves everybody and has a wonderful plan for their life. God just is gracious, good, and kind, and then you guys read the Old Testament. All of a sudden it’s “Whoa! God’s doing what? He’s just smoked those people. You’ve got the ground opening up and you say, “holy cow.” Is it actually a different God from the Old Testament to the New Testament? Or is it the same God? Then all of a sudden, you think maybe it’s a different God. I love this course because it allows you to see how God breaks out of the box. It doesn’t fit into this nice little American lovey-dovey teddy bear that we’ve got in heaven. All of a sudden you realize, God is a real God, there is a thing called justice. There is a thing called holiness. These things matter and there’s big things going down and they aren’t all good. God is not always on our side so to speak. I think it’s a really dangerous mistake to make. So breaking God out of the box of our mind, I think, we suffer from sort of the same ways of thinking.
J. The Ark is Captured by the Philistines [30:23-32:26]
happens? The Ark is captured in chapter 4 verse 18: Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s
two boys, are killed in battle. So the two sons of Eli are killed in battle,
and a messenger runs from Aphek all the way up to Shiloh. Eli is an old man,
he’s not going into battle and he’s apparently heavy too. They come to Eli and
the messenger tells him this, in chapter 4 verse 18, “When he mentioned the Ark
of God, Eli fell backward off his chair, by the side of the gate, his neck was
broken and he died for he was an old man and heavy and had lead Israel for
forty years.” Was Eli really a bad person? I want to say, Eli wasn’t a bad
person, he seems to be a weak father over his sons. His sons were doing some
really bad things and he should have stopped them and he didn’t. He led Israel
for 40 years. His sons die. Is that a problem? Should the father always die
first, before the kids? That is the natural order. In other words, the father
dies first. I faced this a year ago in this very room in this context, my son
was in Afghanistan. I gave him lecture after lecture, and I told him who dies
first? I told him the old man dies first, right? So don’t go getting any ideas
about being some hero over there. I want you to come back alive. The old man
goes first. That’s me, and not him. Does it really really hurt a parent when
their child dies? You know what I’m saying? It’s like the parent should die
first, that’s the way it should be. We really struggled with that last year. He
came back, now he’s back in America. He’s got his limbs many of his buddies did
not come back like that. Many of them didn’t come back at all, well they came
back but in a box and worse than that.
K. Ichabod [32:27-35:37]
But anyways, so it’s just interesting here, Eli hears about his sons, and has no big reaction but when he hears about the ark, he falls over backwards. So the father and the sons die in the same day. So Eli now is off the scene, who is going to take over now? Who is ready to take over? Eli is off the scene, his sons are all gone. Well, we’ve got one little boy that we’ve got to get in here first. His name is Ichabod. As soon as I say Ichabod, what’s the next word you think of? Ichabod Crane…yeah everybody thinks that. Ichabod. It turns out that Phinehas’ wife was pregnant when he went off to war. Does this often happen, where guys go off to war, the girl gets pregnant and the guy goes off to war? The guy gets killed, now the kid has no father. I mean, does that happen here in America, now? Yes. So Phinehas goes off, and Phinehas is killed. The wife then is having a boy but what happens is the mother dies too in the process of childbirth. By the way, in the ancient world, did women die in childbirth? That was fairly, I don’t want to say super-common, but it was fairly common. In America, now, it’s not a problem as much, but in the ancient world, a lot of women died in childbirth [cf. Rachel]. So she dies in childbirth, now she’s expiring, the nurse basically says, “Don’t despair, you have given birth to a son, and she did not respond or pay any attention.” She’s dying. “And she named the boy, Ichabod.” Ich means “no.” Chabod means “glory.” “No glory.” “The glory is departed.” So she names this child, “the glory is departed.” Do you see there is kind of a double entendre meaning here as well? The glory is departed; does she mean that her husband died in battle? Probably. Her husband died in battle, the glory is departed. Has the glory also departed in a sense that the ark has been lost to the Philistines? God’s glory has been removed. So it’s a double play on things here. The glory has departed, meaning her husband’s death but it also means the ark has been lost and that is probably the more significant.
When I was a young kid, I went to a real conservative fundamentalist Baptist church. Have any of you ever been in a church where they kick out the pastor? So there in the process of kicking out this pastor and it’s getting pretty intense, the pastor then gets to the sermon and he pulls everybody out of the church. There are about 300 people in the church and everybody, all the people are out on the street by the church and he stands in front of them and he says, “They are going to write Ichabod over this church in ten years.” Now, what did he mean by that? The glory is departed. He was calling for the demise of this church. If you kick me out, this whole church is going to fall because I am the great one. It’s probably good that they got rid of him, but what I’m saying is, is that really arrogant, “They’re going to write Ichabod over this church.” You can just see the arrogance coming through. Whether the church was right or wrong, in this case they were probably right in doing what they did.
L. Philistines and the Ark [35:37-41:38]
Now, what happens? The Philistines get the ark. What’s the deal with the ark? Well, there’s going to be a problem with the ark. I want to introduce now, if I said the word “pentapolis” to you, this is a Greek word, “pentapolis.” Penta means “five,” like pentagon, penta means “five.” Polis means what? City. So you have a pentapolis, are the five cities. These are the five cities of the Philistines and they’re famous places, even to this day. If I point to this one here, this is Gaza. You have all heard of Gaza, the Gaza strip that Israel has had so much trouble with. There is so much embattlement with Israel to this day, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, Gaza, and Ekron are the others. These are the five famous Philistine cities. What I want to do is just show you a map. By the way, you guys can download these maps on PowerPoint. Here is the Mediterranean Sea. Joppa is where Tel Aviv is today. So this is Tel Aviv. Our first place is Ekron. The battle took place here at Aphek. This is where the ark was captured. They came down here to Aphek and the Philistines captured the ark. They took the ark over this direction to the five Philistine cities. Ekron is one city. Gath is next. By the way, you all know somebody by name from Gath. He was a real big guy: Goliath of Gath. Goliath was from Gath, and that’s were Goliath’s hometown was. These are the two (Gath and Ekron), notice that these are closer to Israel, toward the mountains. They are still on the plains but they’re closer to the mountains.
Then there’s three out by the coast. Two internal and three out by the coast. The first one is Ashdod. Ashdod is here, there is some sand going through here. Now when you look where Ashkelon is, where is Ashkelon? Is it right on the coast? Ashkelon is right on the coast here, what do you know about the Mediterranean Sea? If you go to Israel, this where you want to go swimming. It has beautiful white beaches, the water is about 72 degrees. It’s not like New England, you don’t have to get used to the water. You walk in and it’s a perfect temperature, and the waves are coming in and you can body surf. By the way, Boston area is connected to Ashkelon. Harvard University has excavated Philistine remains here for a ton of years, with Stager down at Harvard who has excavated there for a long period of time at Ashkelon. It kind of makes you homesick. The only problem is, Harvard, I think, my last recollection of Ashkelon, was that Harvard bailed out of it. I think a college west of Chicago picked it up. Some school, I don’t like to say their name but it’s Wheaton College. I think John Monson and Wheaton College took over from Harvard and is excavating at Ashkelon. So if you want a beautiful place on the coast to swim, the only thing is you’ve got to look out for missiles from Gaza, but that’s a different story, sorry. Gaza is down here. So do you see, it’s Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod. Those three are on the coast.
What comes right up through here? Why were the Philistines so brilliant for putting their cities along here, because what’s coming up this road here. This road comes from where? What’s down here to the south? Egypt. Is Egypt the bread basket of the ancient world? Egypt is going to be sending all their goods up to Mesopotamia. They are going to be coming right up this road. When you’ve got cities on this road, does that mean money? Yes. In other words, people ship things. Are any of you guys from New York? You got it in New York, you put up a toll booth. With a toll booth, you make money. So what they’ve got is toll booths coming up here and that’s going to make the Philistines a ton of money through trade [just kidding]. Largely anything coming out of Egypt is going to come right up this is called Via Maris or Coastal Highway. This Coastal Highway is Route 95. It comes right up here. It is a major road to Mesopotamia. So the Philistines are right on that and so they’re going to benefit from all the trade that is going back and forth from Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Philistines cash in. So they are in a pretty good place.
Whenever I see Gaza too, I remember I had a conversation with a Jewish fellow and he told me to go to Gaza. I was in Jerusalem and I could not figure out why he told me to go to Gaza. And I was trying to figure out why; I told the guy I don’t want to don’t to Gaza, I’m in Jerusalem, why would I want to go to Gaza? Then I asked around and said, it was really weird the guy wanted me to go to Gaza but what’s that? Gaza is considered a really really hot place. The guy wasn’t really telling me to go to physical Gaza; he was telling me to go to another place that’s very very hot. I had no clue, I was trying to understand what he meant by Gaza. I don’t want to go to Gaza because he was telling me to go. Let me use another word, “Sheol.” He was telling me to go to in English what would be a bad place. They use Gaza to do that, it’s a euphemism when you tell somebody where to go, so you tell them to go to Gaza. But does every language have idioms like that? The people know what they mean but if you’re an outsider you have to try and figure it out. It has nothing to do with Gaza, the guy just told you to go to Sheol.
M. The Philistines and the Ark [41:39- 45:47]
So the Philistines captured the ark. This is in chapters 4, 5, and 6. They bring the ark into their city, and they set the ark in front of this god Dagon. Dagon was originally believed to be a fish god but that’s not correct; it’s probably either a grain god or a fertility god. But the god is made out of stone. They put the ark in front of this god, and what happens? BOOM… the god falls over, knocked down. What do the people do? The people come in and their god has fallen down, almost prostrate there in front of the ark. So they pick up their god, (you can see them putting some nails in the god’s feet to make sure he stands up straight. Do you get the irony of the people having to set up their god? They set up their god, and then what happens? They come in the next day, and the god has fallen over now, and he fell so hard that the head falls off and the hands are just busted off. So all they’ve got is this torso of this god busted up down in front of God in this almost worshipful position in front of the ark.
what happens with the ark? There are other problems now that come with the ark,
the plagues. Wherever the ark is taken, people start dying from a plague, and
the Philistines start dying from city to city. So what they start doing is
shipping the ark, they UPS it from one city to the next, but wherever it goes,
people are dying. So finally the Philistines say, “we’ve got to get rid of this
ark, it’s going to kill us!” So the Philistines say, “how are we going to
return the ark?” In chapter 6 verse 4 the Philistines ask, “what guilt offering
should we send to them?” They were replied, “five golden tumors, five golden
rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers.” In other words, five, why
five golden tumors? Why five golden rats? There are five rulers of the five
cities in the Philistine pentapolis, so they each chip in a golden rat and a
By the way, did you also remember what they did with the calves? They took cows that had calves, and they hooked the calves up to the cart that was pulling the ark. Normally calves will do what? If you’ve got the mother cows behind, where will the calves go? Will the calves go back to their mother? Yes. The Philistines said, “We’ll see if this is really from God or not. If those calves go up the hill to Jerusalem and up toward the hills back to the Jews; then we’ll know it’s of God; but if the cart turns around, then we’ll know it’s no big deal.” Guess what happens with those calves? Zoom, straight up to Bet Shemesh--right up into Israel territory. They then sacrifice those calves to the Lord.
why the golden tumors and why the golden rats? It is believed that this is
what’s called “sympathetic magic.” People believed rats and tumors caused the
plagues. What do you associate that with rats and tumors? Yes, the bubonic
plague, the black death. So it’s believed that they made models of the tumors
that were killing them and they figured out that it was done by rats. So they
then made these models and sent the models away. If you send the models away,
that means that the disease will go away. It’s kind of like voodoo where you
take a doll and you stick a doll with needles and this doll represents a person.
If you do something bad to the doll it happens to the real person. Have you guys
ever heard of that kind of thing? So I think it’s that same thing. They send
the five tumors away made out of gold, to honor God. They send the rats away
and hope the disease will leave them. So the ark does go away, and the five Philistine
cities did sympathetic magic.
N. Ebenezer and Samuel’s first victory [45:48-51:08]
Now, Israel gets the ark back. But Eli’s dead. Hophni and Phineas are dead. Samuel takes over. What’s the first thing he’s got to do as the new leader? Samuel’s got to win a victory. So in chapter 7, Samuel takes over and he wins his first victory at a place called Ebenezer. He sets up a stone--Ebenezer. Can anybody see the word “ezer?” Does anybody remember we talked about ezer before? What did we say then? Does anyone remember back in Genesis, Eve would be Adam’s ezer “helper.” “The stone of help,” who is Israel’s stone of help? God is Israel’s ezer. So Samuel sets up this stone honoring God for having delivered in Ebenezer. It’s really cool, Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel to Mizpah, and I will intercede to the Lord for you. And so they fasted and they confessed, ‘We have sinned against the Lord.’” Is Samuel a good leader? He gets his people to confess before they fight. “Then they said to Samuel,” verse 8, of chapter 7, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, so he may rescue us from the hands of the Philistines.” So they’re going out to battle, Samuel’s going to be in prayer while they go out to battle. He’s going to intercede for them. They go out to battle and he intercedes to God, who does that remind you of? Yes, does anybody remember Moses in a similar structure? Moses interceding for the people.
Now this brings up a problem, however. If you go from chapter 7 verse 12, it tells of how Samuel names the place Ebenezer. There’s a problem because back in chapter 5, two chapters earlier, it says, “after the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.” But suppose I’m a Bible critic and a Bible critic says, “Wait a minute, you have a contradiction in the Bible here!” The Bible says that it was named it in chapter 7 verse 12 when Samuel named that place Ebenezer. But here you are back two chapters earlier, which is probably, quite a bit earlier, years earlier, and it’s called Ebenezer back here in chapter 5 verse 1. That’s not right, it wasn’t named Ebenezer in chapter 5, you have to wait until chapter 7 verse 12 until Samuel names it Ebenezer. So that’s a contradiction in the Bible and basically that’s an error in the Bible. This is what critics would point out. It’s named in chapter 7 verse 12 but yet the name Ebenezer was used two chapters earlier. Obviously the historian’s gotten mixed up and it’s a contradiction; and it’s an error in the Bible.
you know what an anachronism is? “Chronism” can you see “chronism” there?
“Chronism…” does anybody do Greek? Chronos is “time.” “Chronology,” you
guys would say “chronology” is “time.” Anachronology means it’s out of sync;
it’s out of time. This is what you call “an anachronism.” When is the book of
Samuel written? Is Samuel written much later? Samuel is dead in chapter 28, so
it’s written after the lifetime of Samuel. It’s written later. What you have
happening here is the person who’s writing the book is looking back and he calls
that place “Ebenezer” because that’s what everybody in his day calls it,
Ebenezer. So it would be like this. If I said to you, the witches, remember we
had the witches in Salem Massachusetts in sixteen nineties. And I said to you, “the
witches were taken up to Danvers.” Now do you guys all know where Danvers is?
Liberty Tree Mall. Now if I said “Danvers,” everybody would know where that is.
Question: did I just make a contradiction? Yes, when the witches were taken up
there was it called Danvers at that time? No. But if I said “Salem Village” to
you, how many would know Salem Village? Almost nobody. So what I do is I call
it by its present name just so you guys know where it is. Is that the way
history is written all the time? You don’t call it by the original name; if you
said Salem Village nobody would know where it is. So what I’m saying is this isn’t
a contradiction, this is just a guy who’s writing later, he calls it what
everybody in his day calls it: Ebenezer. Then he narrates how Ebenezer got
its name later but he uses the term earlier. Now is that a big contradiction or
do we do that all the time? Yes. So it’s no big deal. But critics get on this
and they say, “Oh, see? There’s a contradiction in the Bible it wasn’t named
until that chapter 7 but it was used back in chapters 4 and 5 as a matter of
fact.” You say, “chill out, if that’s the only contradiction you’re got you’re
in trouble.” So, anachronism, some of the things when a guy’s writing later
he’s going to use the names that he’s familiar with; he’s going to put those
back in the narrative.
O. Samuel’s sons and the call for a king [51:09-52:51]
now, what’s the problem? Samuel wins his first victory but now Samuel himself
has a problem, and in chapter 8 verse 3 it says, let me start with verse 1: “When
Samuel grew old he appointed his sons as judges of Israel; the name of his
firstborn was Joel and his second Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his
sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, accepted
bribes, and they perverted justice.” What was the judge not to do? A judge was to
establish justice. The other thing a judge was not to do was to accept bribes.
Money and justice were not to be connected. His sons perverted justice rather
than establishing it. They perverted justice and they accepted bribes. He’s the
last big judge and he tries to make his sons judges.
“So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and they said, ‘Samuel, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king to lead us such as the other nations have.’” Why does Israel call for a king? They call for a king because Samuel’s kids are no good. Samuel’s kids are perverting justice and taking bribes. The people look at his sons and say, “Samuel, you’re a great guy. We’ve got nothing against you. You’re a godly person; you’re a good person. Your kids, however, are all messed up. We need a king to rule over us.” So they call for a king. So that’s how kingship gets introduced into Israel. It is Israel’s calling for a king because of the failure of Samuel’s sons.
P. On fathers and sons [52:52-57:31]
on fathers and sons, let’s do a little review here. Was Eli a fairly godly
person himself? Eli seems to be a fairly godly person himself; I want to put a
plus there. He should have restrained his sons, but Eli’s sons, Hophni and
Phineas turn out evil, so evil that God takes them out. Eli was not a terrible
person, he was a good person in many ways, but his sons were evil. Is Samuel a
good godly person all the days of his life? Samuel is a winner. Yet his sons
turn out terribly. They accept bribes and they pervert justice. So is it
possible to be a good father, a good person, and have your kids turn out bad?
I thought that if I were the ideal person, then my kids would turn out
wonderfully, you know “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Is that always
What about this guy, Saul? I’m going try to show you that Saul is a jerk, to put it bluntly. Saul has got major problems. This guy is a jerk. He tries to kill David repeatedly. This guy is against God in so many ways. But tell me about Saul’s son Jonathan. Is Jonathan the gold standard? Actually when I was looking for guys to marry my daughters in this arranged marriage I had in my head, I was looking for guys like Jonathan. I was hoping that my daughters would meet somebody like Jonathan, because this guy is a gem. Jonathan was whose best friend by the way? He was David’s best friend--“likes attract likes.” Jonathan’s just a good person. Is Jonathan better than his father? His father’s got all sorts of problems trying to kill people and David; Jonathan’s a gem. So here you’ve got a bad father. Is it possible to have a bad father and the kid turns out great? Yes.
Now what about David? What’s the problem? Is David the man after God’s own heart? David’s the man after God’s own heart, but David had a problem with Bathsheba and Uriah. So David’s not perfect. David has one son Solomon, and Solomon turns out to be the what? The Einstein of the ancient Israel. He’s the wisest man who ever lived. So David has a winner of a son, but what about Absalom, David’s other son? David’s other son Absalom tried to kill whom? Actually you guys beat me to it. He kills his other brother and then after he gets done killing his brother Amnon, then who does he try to kill? Absalom tries to kill David, his own father! Freud was right! He tries to kill his father. Absalom tries to kill his father. So Absalom was really bad.
My conclusion to this is does each generation has to come to know God for themselves? I can know God. Yet can my children throw God away? Does each generation have to come and become its own person and have its own way of doing things? My son and I were just discussing this the other night. He warned me. He said, “Dad, when my generation gets in the positions of power,” he says, “you better fear for your life.” He was really serious, I thought “chill out, you guys will mature. Your generation will mature just like we did, I hope.” He’s really negative and was not convinced.
Student comment: “God has kids, but he has no grand-kids.”
going to repeat that, just cause it’s so good: “God has kids; he has no
grandkids.” Now I really agree with that, every generation has to own God for
themselves and come to know God for themselves. It’s really important.
Q. The Call for a King [57:31-62:13]
Now, they say we want a king. Was it wrong for Israel in chapter 8 and following to ask for Samuel for a king like the other nations? I was taught that Israel was wrong because they were trying to be “like the other nations.” So they were just trying to fit in and compromise and be just like the other nations and that it was wrong for them to ask for that. However, that’s wrong. Moses back in Deuteronomy chapter 17, at the end of his life he’s writing the book of Deuteronomy. Moses says, “you will have a king, like the other nations,” and he uses those very same exact same words. “You will have a king, just like the other nations.” Is all from Deuteronomy then moving through Joshua through Judges expecting this king to come. Moses told them that they would have a king. Is Israel to have a king? Ultimately, the whole kingship thing is moving toward whom? Who is the ultimate king of Israel? David! David moves on to whom? Jesus, who’s the what? The son of David, king of Israel. “And he shall reign forever and ever.” So the whole kingship thing is moving to David then on to Jesus Christ, and the rule of Christ who will rule over Israel and over the world forever. So the notion of the establishing this kingship is in God’s plan. Is this something wrong that Israel has asked for a king? No. Moses said that they would have a king like the other nations, and now they’re requesting a king like the other nations just like Moses said.
Now I agree with you that they’re doing it for the wrong motives. But the quote is, in other words, they were to expect a king and they were to expect a prophet like Moses in Deuteronomy 18. Now, Israel had priests, did the other nations have priests? Israel had priests and the other nations had priests. So they had priests like the other nations. Did the other nations have prophets? We’ve seen Baalam and some of the other prophets. The other nations had prophets, and Israel had prophets as well like the other nations. Did the other nations have judges? Like the other nations, Israel had judges. So for them to expect the king like the other nations was normal and Moses even told them they would have a king like the other nations.
The problem that needs to be established correctly was not that they wanted a king like the other nations, this is the problem: the problem was who was Israel’s king at this time? The king at this time was God. So by calling for a king like the other nations, the problem was not that they called for a king because God told them they were to expect one, the problem was that they were calling for another king in lieu of God and in rejection of God.
God have feelings? I want to read a verse here; did God’s feelings get hurt?
Check this out: chapter 8, verse 7; start with verse 6: “And when they said ‘give
us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel. So he prayed to the Lord.” By
the way, is Samuel hurt? His kids weren’t good, right? His kids were bad. So
they come and say, “Hey, Samuel, we don’t want your kids; we want a king.” Is
that going to hurt Samuel? Samuel’s going to feel rejection; rejecting his
family. So Samuel goes to pray to the Lord, and here’s how the Lord responds;
check this out, it’s beautiful: “And the Lord told him, listen to all the
people are saying to you. It is not you [Samuel] they have rejected. But they
have rejected me as their king.” “But they have rejected me as their king"
that's the issue. Should Samuel feel rejected, God's saying, Samuel, don't feel
rejection. It's not you they're rejecting, it's me. That's a pretty strong
statement from God. He realizes that his people don't want him to be their king
any more. That is the issue. So this is a beautiful verse where you can kind of
see into the inside of God.
R. Saul and the prophet/seer Samuel [62:14-66:23]
Now they're going to go out and make a king. Who's the first king they're going to get? Saul. Saul comes out of the Ramah area up there, and, what's Saul doing? In chapter 9 Saul's out chasing his father's donkeys. He's roaming the hills trying to find these donkeys, and finally his servant says "Hey, it's getting late we've been out here a long time, we have got to find these donkeys." The guy says, "Well, I know that there's a seer here that we can go to and he'll tell us where the donkeys are so we can find them.” So in chapter 9, verse 9, it says, “The servant said to him again. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.’ Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, ‘Come, let us go to the seer,’ --this is that word roeh, the seer, that word is important—“because the prophet—the nabi —of today used to be called a seer."
Now what's going on with that verse? Let me just kind of develop that a little bit. He said what we call today a nabi [prophet], back in those days when Saul was chasing his father's donkeys, he was called “the seer.” What does that tell us about the date of the writing of the book of 1 Samuel? In the book of Joshua, were the events of Joshua the crossing of the Jordan River and the taking down of the walls of Jericho down recorded almost immediately? They're there “till this day,” who is alive “till this day” when the book of Joshua was actually written? Rahab the harlot. Joshua says, "Hey, you don't believe me, go ask her, she's still alive. You can confirm everything I’ve written down here. Rahab the harlot and many of the people who crossed the Jordan River, they’re still alive, talk to them.” So the historical events were here and the writing was right next to it. It was written within the same generation as the events described.
Now in 1 Samuel were things written down immediately? Did Samuel probably take notes? Did Samuel probably have a diary, an annals of Samuel? Yes, he probably did. But was this book is written down so much later that, the language had actually changed. “The prophet of today used to be called the seer.” Does language change over time? But, by the way, does it take time for language to change? So what I'm suggesting here is, the events of 1 Samuel are here, but the writing of the book is much later. Now sometimes the events happened and were written down immediately. Here, is it clear that the language had time to change? Does the English language change? I ask how many of you if I said to you the word “cassette,” would you know what a “cassette” is. Let me go back generations, if I said to you the word “record.” Ok, so you guys know what a vinyl record is. When we go in the future is it possible that your children will not know what a CD or a DVD is? Is it possible that your children will not know what a CD or a DVD is, because everything's going in the cloud now. So basically CD's, DVD's are becoming irrelevant. So I mean you've got a couple years before this actually pans out, but these things are going to be gone.
all I'm saying is, the event's happened here, but apparently the language had
changed so that the seer back then is now called the prophet. The language had
actually changed, and the writer actually comments about it and says, the roeh
seer is now called the prophet, the language had changed so much.
S. Saul made king: on pride and humility [66:24-72:06]
Now, the focus on Saul is what? It's on his height. He’s a head taller than everybody else, and so basically Samuel says don't worry about it, your father's donkeys have been found. Don’t worry about it "you to whom all of Israel looks." Saul says wait a minute, I can't be king, I’m from the tribe of Benjamin and the tribe of Benjamin is the least tribe of Israel and my clan is the least of Benjamin. By the way, did everybody know why Benjamin was the least tribe of Israel? Because they were almost wiped out because of the evil. So Saul comes out like that and says these kind of things that he's not fit to be king. So it sounds like in chapter 9 verse 21—“Saul answered, ‘But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?’” – that he’s going to be king?
sounds like humility. How many humble people have you really known in your
life? By the way, how many arrogant or proud people have you known? Can you see
pride and arrogance? Is pride and arrogance really easy to spot? I think of a
proud person I know actually, a senator in Massachusetts. My daughter used to
work for a senator up in New Hampshire. This senator from Mass would sometimes
come in, and if he ever got egg on his face, he would come in to the people who
worked for him and treat them like dirt. "Your job is to make me look good
and I look bad now and so you are fired." He would ream them out because his
face was tarnished because of these people. Is that a sign of arrogance?
You're my slaves to make me look good.
My daughter worked for senator Sunnu up in New Hampshire. There were about ten people working in this office or so. One day, the senator was totally humiliated, one of the girls in the office set it up so that he was totally blindsided and made to look like a fool. He had egg all over his face. Everybody in the office knew this girl really messed up big time. Now, the senator comes into the office, the big senator, he walks in there ‘fear and trembling,’ everybody's working on their computer, looking over trying to see what he's going to do. The senator in NH walks up to the girl's desk who did this and by the way at this point she's like "dahhh, I know I made a really bad mistake--" he walks up to the girl's desk and everybody is ready for a hammer to come down on this poor girls' head because she really did mess up. You know what he did? He comes up to her desk, walks up to her directly and cracks a joke and says, "you know, we all make mistakes at certain points in our lives just don't let it happen again." Question: was that humility? The big senator, could have squashed her, and said "you made me look bad" and could have really come down hard, instead he was a gentleman. Was that something, for him to do that, to say "we all make mistakes" and to put it in that context, so she could relax and realize her mistake. I want to say that guy was humble.
How do you tell the difference between arrogance and humility? Here’s the check: if you give somebody who’s proud, power, how do they use it? If you give somebody who's humble power, how do they use it? Will a proud person use power very differently than a humble person will? Will a humble person use it for the benefit of others? Will a proud person use it to bolster themselves?
I always get a kick sometimes, students come up to me and say, "O professor, you're so humble" and all this kind of stuff. Then I go home and talk to my wife, and my wife says "you are the most arrogant person I know." So then what do I do? Do I believe my wife or the students? Well, of course, the students! She doesn't know what's going on in the real world. Question: who's right? The honest truth is, my wife. She knows me. She reads me. She’s known me for thirty-six, seven, eight, longer than that, years. So she knows me like a book. So do I need to listen to what she's saying? Pride is easy to spot in someone else, very difficult to spot in yourself. Is it possible that you've known humble people that you have just passed them by and didn't even realize them because they're humble and just walked right on by?
Now you say,
“what about Saul, Saul seems humble.” “I’m from the least tribe of Benjamin” is
this really humility or is this insecurity? Insecurity and humility can look
alike externally. How do you tell the difference between insecurity and
humility? If you give an insecure person power, how will they use it? To
bolster themselves. If you give a humble person power he’ll help others.
Question: was Saul insecure or was he humble? How did he use power? Did he use
power to go after David? Did he use power to go after the priests of Nob? Saul
was an insecure person. So don't be fooled by this pseudo-humility, that's
really insecurity I believe.
T. Saul among the Prophets: Spirit of God in the OT [72:07-82:51]
Now, the Spirit of God comes on Saul, in chapter 10 verse 10, the Spirit comes on him and what does he do? He starts prophesying. It says, “And when they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
the Spirit comes on him. This was the Spirit of God in the Old Testament. The Spirit
of God was in the Old Testament and his works were usually endowing people like
kings and prophets with special gifts. Actually when the Spirit of God came on
Samson, what did it do for him? It made him big and strong. So the Spirit comes
on and endows with gifts in the Old Testament. When I was younger I thought the
Spirit of God came down in Acts chapter 2. Did the Spirit came down initially on
the earth in Acts chapter 2 in Pentecost? No. The Spirit is in the Old
Testament, it's gifting various people, kings and prophets with special gifts.
In the New Testament the Spirit is still here, but the work of the Spirit in
the New Testament is different. In the New Testament the Spirit binds the body
of Christ together, so that Jews and Gentiles can be one body. So the work of
the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, in this Acts chapter 2 context, is
binding the body of Christ together. So it's just a matter of changing the work
of the Spirit.
Now, Saul is made king three times. Here, the second time, they go up to Mizpah and this is going to be a public anointing in front of all Israel. The first one was at Ramah with Samuel is a private anointing. It’s a private selecting of Saul as king. Samuel and Saul were on a personal level in the private context of a home. Now at Mizpah Saul is put out before all the people. When they go to call Saul, where is Saul? Saul is hiding. He's scared to death. They drag his tail over there, you can see somebody pulling him by his belt out of the baggage, and he stands up, a head taller than everybody else. By the way, did they want somebody big and strong? Yes, he was to lead them into war. So God picks this tall strong guy and drags him out of the baggage to make him king. Saul then has to do what? As a new leader he has to win a victory. He goes over to Jabesh Gilead, and he defeats the Ammonites. Where is Jabesh Gilead? It’s across the Jordan.
Did anybody make a connection with Jabesh Gilead? This is Saul’s' first victory over the Ammonites at Jabesh Gilead. Does anybody remember Jabesh Gilead? This is a million dollar question; last period nobody got it.
the Benjamites were down to 600 guys, and all the majority of Benjamites were
killed, where did they get wives for the remaining Benjamites? Jabesh Gilead.
Is it likely that Saul’s grandmother came from Jabesh Gilead and that he is
going back defending there because that's where his family roots were from? Now
I don't know that, but it sure makes sense as to why he would go to Jabesh
Gilead and protect them. So Saul protects Jabesh Gilead.
The third time Saul is “made king” is at the covenant renewal at Gilgal. Now this is really important at Gilgal. They go down to Gilgal. Is that a holy place? It’s down by Jericho. They crossed the Jordan River and went to Gilgal and the manna stopped, circumcision, they had their third Passover at Gilgal. So now, they go to Gilgal and they renew the covenant there. Now this is a really important concept. When Moses’ passed succession onto Joshua, what does Moses do? He writes the book of Deuteronomy as a covenant renewal saying that the power is going to be transferred from Moses to Joshua. As the power succession goes from Moses to Joshua, they need to recommit themselves to God through a renewal of the covenant. At the end of the book of Joshua, he's going to pass it on to the judges. At the end of that book of Joshua guess what you have in Joshua 24, you have a covenant renewal ceremony. Whereas Joshua is fading off he passes on to the new generation, they recommit themselves to the covenant. Now what's happening here? Samuel, last of the judges is moving over to the kingship, and as there is a succession between the judges to this new king or from theocracy to monarchy, so there's the renewal of the covenant at Gilgal; a renewal of the relationship.
By the way, is this college going through a succession transition right now? From Judd Carlberg, president for many years, to Michael Lindsey, the new president. Whenever there's a transition of power, should that be the time where there's a recommitment to God in one's relationship? So this is kind of interesting with the renewal covenant there.
Now Samuel responds, and his response here is very interesting in chapter 12 verse 3. Samuel says, “Here I stand. Testify to me in the presence of the LORD and his anointed, whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated?”
stands up in front of all the people and says, “Hey, have I stolen anything
from you? Have I taken anything from you, cheated anybody in this whole place?”
They all say, “No, you've been a good leader.” Is that a pretty good commentary
He says this at the end of chapter 12 verse 23, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you in the way that is good and right.” Did Samuel see it as a sin if he did not pray for those people? He said, “I am not in power now, I’m out of power, the new king is going to take over, but I need to pray for you.”
How many of you pray for your leaders? How many of you pray for Michael Lindsey as he leads this institution. I set up a thing when I walk into Frost Hall, I forget everything, so I make little markers. So when I walk through the door of Frost, I remember to pray for basically three people, Michael Lindsey, Dan Tyman who is another one of my heroes, and Bruce Webb. Bruce has been a faculty member for here over 30 years and he has stage 4 cancer. You know what that means? That means he's history. I pray for Bruce as I go in there. As a matter of fact just before I come over to teach this class I was talking to him. You need to pray for people and you need triggers. Samuel says, “far be it from me to sin and not to pray for you” and so praying for others is really, really important and Samuel did that role.
Now, what is 1 Samuel 13? This is something you can take home to your parents to show off how smart you are and so they can get mad at Gordon. The King James version says, “Saul reigned one year and then he reigned two years over Israel.” Does anybody remember we started the semester off with this? You remember the old NASV says "Saul was 40 years old and reigned 32 years over Israel" is that different than the King James. “Saul was one year and then two years over Israel.” By the way, has the King James got to be wrong? That verse is dumb... he reigned one year then two years then three and then four…
NIV goes the other way, NIV and NLT go, "Saul was 30 years old when he
began to reign and he reined 42 years over Israel" is this different too?
The old NASB says 40 and 32 and the NIV says 30 and 42. Here is the NRSV and
ESV, the ESV was an ape off the RSV unfortunately, and they say "Saul was
… years old and reigned … years." What are the NRSV and ESV telling you? The
number is gone.
Now how does this affect your view of the inerrancy of Scripture and the inspiration of Scripture? The number is gone. Nobody in the world knows it. Nobody currently living that I know knows this. What’s the view of inspiration; does this affect our view of the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture? No! What does inspiration have to do with? Inspiration has to do with God speaking to the prophet and the prophet writing it down. Did the prophet write it down well? Yes, he did.
What happened? It gets copied over and over again. Is this a scribal problem? This is a scribal problem. The scribes were human beings who copied God's word for 1000 years. So the scribes had problems. Is this a problem for inspiration? No. Inspiration has to do with God speaking to the prophet and the prophet writing it down. This is a problem with transmission, a scribal problem with the text getting copied over and over again. So this suggests that there are transmission problems in the Bible. Does God want us worshipping the Bible, or does God want us worshiping him?
So that's it. Thank you for staying and have a great Thanksgiving and greetings to your parents and brothers and sisters and I hope you all have a great thanksgiving. Take care!
by Charis Taualofai and Beth Crandall
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt 2