Explore the textual basis, historical context, literary structure, and theological significance of some of the Bible’s most famous narratives with this commentary on 1 Samuel. Review and evaluate modern critical perspectives on the book, and considers the legacy of modern historical-critical studies. Organized for easy reference, Word Biblical commentaries make an ideal Bible study companion whether you are studying a single passage or a complete biblical book.
The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.
“Only in 1 Sam 15:28 do we hear of the rejection of Saul’s kingship itself. The man after Yahweh’s heart (v 14; cf. Jer 3:15 and 2 Sam 7:21) is clearly David even if his anointing is recorded only three chapters later. That David will be the prince (נגיד; cf. 1 Sam 25:30; 2 Sam 6:21) to succeed Saul is mentioned in v 14 for the first time though David’s coming kingship becomes a major motif in the second half of I Samuel as one person after another recognizes it (cf. Israel in Exile 29), including Samuel in 16:1 and 28:17.” (Page 127)
“When someone was anointed at the command of God, it was God who obligated himself to the king, creating a relationship that eventually came to be expressed as God’s covenant with David.” (Page 158)
“Perhaps the reader is to see, in the series of puns on the word Saul, a suggestion that the real leader of Israel is not Saul, the anointed king, but rather the prophet-anointer, who had been asked (‘Sauled’) of God (v 20) and who had been dedicated (‘Sauled’) back to God (v 28). Saul was indeed important for Israel, but the real Saul was the Saul after God’s own heart, whose name was Samuel (Cf. Willis, ST 26  54).” (Page 9)
“If the biblical shekel was equal to.403 ounces (IDB 4, 317), the Philistine’s armor would have weighed nearly 126 pounds!” (Page 175)
“Even the evil spirit, which afflicted him from time to time, is designated as a spirit from God. The OT frequently ascribes evil or temptation to the hand of Yahweh (e.g. Deut 13:2–4; Amos 3:6; 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1). God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem (Judg 9:23) and a lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets at the time of Micaiah (1 Kgs 22:19–22).” (Page 165)