[b-hebrew] 1 Samuel 7:2

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue May 17 19:36:34 EDT 2005


I think the problem here is the modern division of chapters and verses. When we look at the context, we see that chapter six was about the events surrounding the Ark of the Covenant. Except for the first verse, chapter seven is about Samuel’s judgeship over Israel. But because 1 Samuel 7:1 is part of chapter seven, we want to read the next verse as belonging with it, when context calls that into question. Also the Masoretes considered that there was a break between verses one and two, by the way they formatted the text.

There are many places where modern chapter and verse divisions do not follow Biblical context and ideas.

I see no problem with Samuel’s judgeship lasting 20 years. If he were 25–30 when the events of chapter six occurred, that would make him an old man of 45–50, his sons 25–30, when the people came to him to ask for a king. That does not seem out of line, even for those days. That would allow him to die a very old man of less than 80 while still accomplishing many things even well into the kingship of Saul.

If we allow that Saul reigned 40 years, Samuel was a judge for 20, and that David didn’t bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem until at least seven years into his reign, that makes for a total of at least 67 years that it was in the house of Abinadab in Gibeah. That’s a bit longer than 20.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 17/05/2005 15:57, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > To make it even more interesting, in 2 Samuel 6, whose house was 
> > the ark in when David decided to bring it to Jerusalem?
> >
> > Further, how old was Samuel when he started judging Israel? How 
> > long did he judge Israel? In other words, does the verse refer 
> > not to the time that the Ark of the Covenant was in Gibeah, but 
> > the time that Samuel was judge over Israel?
> >
> > My reading is that the verse refers to Samuel’s judgeship over 
> > Israel, and the events listed subsequently were events that 
> > occured during that 20 years. Of course, I may have overlooked 
> > something, so what do others on this list say?
> >
> >
> Karl, you have spotted the chronological issues behind my question. 
> It seems to me that the 20 years are the period from when the ark 
> arrived at Kiriath-Jearim (= Baalah) until when David took it (via 
> Obed-Edom's house) to Jerusalem, which was more than seven years 
> after the death of Saul. But that has certain consequences e.g. 
> that the judgeship of Samuel and the reign of Saul must be squeezed 
> into 13 years. And Samuel's defeat of the Philistines at Mizpah 
> would be at the beginning of this period. I note that the Hebrew 
> text of 1 Samuel 13:1 states that Saul reigned only two years, 
> although there is certainly some textual corruption in this verse. 
> And there is no reason to assume that Samuel's judgeship was 
> actually longer than 10 years.
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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