[b-hebrew] 1 Samuel 7:2

Sesamo m. sesamox at hotmail.com
Wed May 18 04:24:13 EDT 2005

1 Samuel 13:1 is corrupted, so we don't need to assume that Saul's reing 
lasted two years, neither that he was one year old when he became king of 
A tradition recorded at Acts 13:21 assigns 40 years for Saul's reign.
In my opinion, only the events in 1Sa 14:47, 48, 52 are two much for two 
In 1 Samuel 7:2 Saul is a young man, but when he died, his son Ish-bosheth, 
who must have been younger than Johathan, was 40 years old (2 Sam 2:10).
Also, David became musician for the king and his armorbearer before 
defeating Goliath; then he became a noted soldier and then he had to fly 
from him and live in the desert for a certain period; after a lot of events, 
he went to Gath and lived there for a year and 4 months (1 Sam 27:7).
Certainly, all of the events narrated in the chapters 13-31 are too many for 
a few years period.
Also, in 1 Samuel 17, David is too young to be a soldier (vv. 28, 33, 42). 
He must have been younger that 20 (Num 1:2, 3, 45). However, when Saul died 
David was 30 (2 Sam 5:4).
So, 40 years fits well with the narration in 1 Samuel 13 to 31.
However, Acts 13:21 assigns 40 years to Saul and 40 years to David, when in 
fact David was king for 40 1/2 years. If the Israelites used the same system 
than the Mesopotamians, Saul must have been king for 39 1/2 years, and 
David's first 6 months were attributed to Saul's reign.

So, going back to 1 Sam 7:2: "And it came to pass, from the day that the ark 
abode in Kiriath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: 
and all the house of Israel lamented after Jehovah." I think the 20 years 
were the period since the ark was carried to Kiriath-jearim until 'all the 
house of Israel lamented after Jehovah' and were gathered to Mizpah.


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