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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
Books of Samuel
Two books of the Old Testament, which in the Jewish canon are ranked among the Former Prophets (Joshua-Kings), in contrast to the Latter Prophets (Isaiah-Malachi). The division into two (like the two Hebrew books of Kings) follows the Septuagint and the Vulgate, whose four books of " kingdoms " correspond to the Hebrew books of Samuel and Kings. Both Samuel and Kings, like Judges, are made up of a series of extracts and abstracts from various sources, worked over from time to time by successive editors, and freely handled by copyists down to a comparatively late date, as is shown by the numerous and often important variations between the Hebrew text and the Greek version (Septuagint). The main redaction of Judges and Kings was made under the influence of the ideas which characterize Deuteronomy, that is, after the reforms ascribed to Josiah (2 Kings xxiii.); but in Samuel the " Deuteronomistic " hand is much less prominent and the chronological system which runs through Judges and Kings occurs only sporadically. The book of Samuel completes the history of the " judges " of Israel, (11th century B.C.), and begins by relating the events which led to the institution of the monarchy under Saul, the part played by Samuel being especially prominent (r Sam. i. - xiv.). The interest is then transferred to David, the founder of the Judaean dynasty, and his early life is narrated with great wealth of detail. As Saul loses the divine favour, David's position advances until, after the death of Saul and the overthrow of Israel, he gains the allegiance of a disorganized people (r Sam. xv.-2 Sam. iv.), and Jerusalem becomes the centre of his empire (v. - viii.) - c. 1000 B.C. A more connected narrative is now given of the history of David (ix. - xx.), which is separated from the account of his death and Solomon's accession (1 Kings i. ii.) by an appendix of miscellaneous contents (xxi.-xxiv.). Three lines of interest are to be recognized: (a) that naturally taken by Israel (the northern kingdom) in the history of its first king, Saul; ( b) the leading position of the prophets in the political and religious events; and ( c ) the superiority of the Judaean dynasty, a feature of paramount importance in the study of a book which has come ultimately through Judaean hands. (On the ambiguity of the name " Israel," see Jews, § 5.) Proof of the diversity of sources is found in the varying character of the narratives (historical, romantic, &c.); in the different literary styles (annalistic, detailed and vivid, Deuteronomic); in the representation of different standpoints and tastes; in the concluding summaries, I Sam. xiv. 47-51 compared with xv., 2 Sam. viii. compared with x.; in the double lists in 2 Sam. viii. 15-18, xx. 23-26, &c. The religious views are so varied that a single writer or even a single age cannot be postulated; note especially I Sam. xv. 22 seq. contrasted with the use of teraphim in xix. 13, and the different conceptions of Yahweh (r Sam. xii. 21 seq., xv. 22 and xxvi. 19, &c.).1 1 It is of course necessary to note carefully whether the religious ideas have any real chronological value. Thus, I Sam. xvii. 36, 46 seq. contain ideas of Yahweh characteristic of exilic and post-exilic writings (see T. K. Cheyne, Ency. Bib. col. 1755), but no proof of an early date is furnished by xxvi. 19b (cf. Ruth i. 16, r Kings xx. 23, 2 Kings xvii. 26 seq.); or 2 Sam. xxiv. r (cf. 1 Kings xxii. 20, Ezek. xlv. 9), or 2 Sam. xxi. 1 (note drought as the punishment for not Unsystematic additions appear to have been made from time to time on a considerable scale, and we not seldom find two accounts of the same events which not only differ in detail but are certainly of very different date. Thus, the saying " Is Saul also among the prophets?" (i Sam. x. 12) finds another explanation in xix. 18-24, where Samuel holds a new position as head of a community of prophets and the words are adapted to an incident in the history of David, who flees north (not south) and is wondrously preserved. The episode, with the interview between Saul and Samuel, and with its interesting attitude to Saul and to the prophets, was evidently unknown to the writer of xv. 35. Other and more profound differences relating to the rise of the monarchy (§ 2), the career of Saul (§ 3) and David's conquest of Jerusalem (§ 4) represent irreconcilable historical background.
The first part of the book is concerned with Samuel and Saul. The introductory account (i.-iv. Ia) of the birth, dedication and calling of the young prophet Samuel is a valuable 2. lnstku- picture of religious life at the sanctuary at Shiloh. tlon of It is connected by the prophecy of the punishment the mon- of the house of Eli (iii. II sqq.) with the defeat of the archy. Israelites by the Philistines at Ebenezer near Aphek, the loss of the ark (iv. Ib-22), and its subsequent fortunes (v. - vii. 1). A Philistine oppression of twenty years ends when Samuel, here the recognized " judge " of Israel, gains a great victory at Ebenezer near Mizpah (vii.). But the overthrow of the Philistines is also ascribed to Saul (xiv.), there is no room for both in the history of the prophet (see vii. 14), and it is now generally recognized that two conflicting representations have been combined. In one (a) Samuel, after his victory, continues to rule peacefully as a theocratic judge over the Israelites, the people demand a king, and although their request is viewed as hostile to the worship of Yahweh the tribes are summoned at Mizpah and the sacred lot falls upon Saul of Benjamin (vii. viii. x. 17-27). But in the other ( b ) the Philistines have occupied the heart of the land, the Israelites are thoroughly disorganized, and their miserable condition moves Yahweh to send as a deliverer the otherwise unknown Saul, who is anointed by Samuel, a seer of local renown (ix. 1 - x. 16, xiii. xiv.). The conclusion of the former is found in Samuel's farewell address (xii.) and the entire representation of Samuel's position, Saul's rise, and the characteristic attitude towards the monarchy (viii. 7, x. 19, xii. 12, cf. Deut. xvii. 14-20, Judg. viii. 22 seq., Hos. viii. 4, xiii. rr), separate it sharply from the relatively fragmentary narrative in (b); see further Samuel. The former, now predominating, account (a) is that of the Deuteronomic school, and, although a running narrative, appears on closer inspection to be based upon earlier sources of different origin. The account of Eli, Shiloh and the ark (i. - iii.) is the natural prelude to iv. - vii. 1, where, however, we lose sight of Samuel and the prophecy. The punishment of Eli and his sons (iv.) becomes a passing interest, and the fate of the ark is by no means so central an idea as its wonder-working in the Philistine territory. Moreover, the sequel of the defeat in iv. is not stated, although other allusions to the fall of Shiloh (Jer. vii. 12-15, xxvi. 6, 9, Ps. lxxviii. 60 sqq.), and the subsequent reappearance of the priestly family at Nob (xxi. seq.) have led most scholars to the conclusion that a fuller account of the events must have been extant. A narrative of Eli and the priesthood of Shiloh has probably been used to form an introduction to Samuel's victory (vii.), and it has been supplemented partly by the account of the early life of the future prophet and judge (note the present abrupt introduction of Eli in i. 3) and partly by narratives of the history of the ark (v. seq.). That this section was handled at a relatively late period is clear not only from the presence of the Deuteronomic prophecy in ii. 27-36 (see § 6), but also from the insertion of Hannah's psalm (ii. r-io) - the prototype of the " Magnificat " - a postexilic passage, " probably composed in celebration of some national success " (Driver), the present suitability of which rests upon the interpretation placed on verse 5.
For the more fragmentary account of Saul's rise (ix. 1 - x. 16, xiii. 2-7a, 15b-23, xiv. 1-47), see above, page 194. Chapter xi., where he leads Israel and Judah to the rescue of their kinsmen of Jabesh-Gilead, rebuilding the temple, Hag. i.; or for not attending the feast of Tabernacles, Zech. xiv. 16-19).
represents a situation which belongs to (a) rather than to the state of chaos represented in (b); it describes how the newly-elected king proved his worth (cf. X. 27, xi. 12 seq.). The compiler has used a story in which Saul is a private individual of Gibeah, whither the messengers came in the course of their mission (xi. 4 seq.). This valuable narrative is of quite distinct origin. Further, Samuel's speech includes himself among the past judges (xii. ii, cf. vii.), and refers to an Ammonite invasion ( v. 12). The latter finds no place in the present history, although the local story of Jephthah's deliverance of Gilead (Judg. xi.) has been treated as the occasion of a general Ammonite oppression, which leads to an Israelite gathering, also at Mizpah (Judg. x. 7, 9, 17). For other evidence of compositeness in this section, see A. Lods, Etudes de theologie (Paris, 1 9 01), pp. 2 5928 4, and below, § 6.
Saul.-Saul's reign is introduced in xiii. r where a blank has been left for his age at accession (some MSS. insert " thirty "); the duration of his reign is also textually uncertain. The formula is parallel to that in 2 Sam. ii. ro se q., q v. 4 seq., and frequently in the Book of Kings, with the additional feature that the age at accession, there usually confined to the Judaean kings, is here given for the Israelite Saul and his son Ishbosheth (i.e. Ishbaal). The summary in xiv. 47 sqq. is evidently by an admirer; it is immediately followed by a reference to the continuous Philistine warfare (v. 52, contrast vii. 13) which forms an introduction to the life of David. This summary gives a picture of Saul's ability and position which differs so markedly from the subsequent more extensive narratives of David's history that its genuineness has sometimes been questioned; nevertheless it is substantiated by the old poem quoted from the Book of Jashar in 2 Sam. i. 19-27, and a fundamental divergence in the traditions may be assumed. Similarly in 2 Sam. ii. 8-ioa, the length of Ishbaal's reign conflicts with the history of David (ii. i 1 and iv. i-v. 3), and the reorganization of (north) Israel with the aid of Abner does not accord with other traditions which represent David as the deliverer of (all?) Israel from the Philistine yoke (iii. 18, xix. 9). But ii. 8-ioa, in common with i Sam. xiii. r, xiv. 47-5 1 (cf. also the introduction in i Sam. vii. 2 and the conclusion vii. 15-17), are of a literary character different from the detailed narratives; the redactional or annalistic style is noticeable, and they contain features characteristic of the annals which form the framework of Kings. 1 In Kings the Israelite and Judaean records are kept carefully separate and the in- dependent standpoint of each is at once obvious. Here, however, much complication arises from the combination of traditions of distinct origin: independent records of Saul having been revised or supplemented by writers whose interest lay in David. Little old tradition of Saul is preserved. The disastrous overthrow of Israel in the north (xxxi.) finds its explanation in an interview with the dead Samuel (xxviii. 3-25, here a famous prophet), where the Israelite catastrophe is foreshadowed, and Saul learns that he has lost the favour of Yahweh, and that his kingdom will pass to David (vv. 16-19). Allusion is made to his campaign against Amalek (mentioned in xiv. 48 apparently as an active enemy), the story of which contains another denunciation and again a reference to the coming supremacy of David (xv. 28). This peculiar treatment of Saul's history by writers of the prophetical school (cf. Ahab in 1 Kings xx. 35-43) has been adapted to the life of David, and the Amalekite war (r Sam. xv.) is now the prelude to the anointing of the youth of Bethlehem by Samuel (xvi. r sqq.). Yet another account of Saul's rejection is found in xiii. 8-14, even before his defeat of the Philistines, and Saul is warned of the impending change (cf. v. 13 seq. with 2 Sam. vii. 11-16). But the incident was evidently unknown to the author of chap. xv., and in this subordination of the history of Saul to that of David, in the reshaping of writings by specifically Judaean hands, we have a preliminary clue to the literary growth of the book.
The unambiguous allusions in xiii. 13 seq., xv. 26-28, and the anointing of David by Samuel in xvi. are ignored in the narratives of the relations between David and Saul, of whose first meeting two 1 Characteristic expressions of Deuteronomic writers are found in r Sam. xiv. 47 seq. (cp. Judg. ii. 14 sqq.); similarly in the (north) Israelite writer in 2 Kings xiii. 3 sqq. (see Kings).
contradictory accounts are given (contrast xvi. 21 sqq. and xvii. 55 sqq.). The independent stories of David place him in the south of Judah, an outlaw with a large following, or a vassal of the Philistines; and his raids upon south Judaean clans are treated as attacks upon Saul's kingdom (xxvii. 10-12). But the earlier stages are extremely confused. Two very similar narratives describe Saul's pursuit of David in the Judaean desert (xxiv. xxvi.) 2 The main points are Saul's confession and his recognition that David would prevail (xxvi. 21-25); the latter is more emphatic when he foresees that David will gain the kingdom of Israel and he adjures him to spare his seed (xxiv. 20-22). This last feature is prominent in xxiii. 15-18 (the prelude to xxiv.), where a passage is inserted to describe the covenant between David and Saul's son Jonathan. The account of David's flight is equally intricate. The tradition that David slew Goliath, brought his head to Jerusalem, and deposited his sword in Nob (xvii., cf. xxi. 9, xxii. ro) is incompatible with the simpler notice in 2 Sam. xxi. 19 (1 Chron. xx. 5 seeks to avoid the discrepancy); and even if the name Goliath be a later addition to the story of some great exploit (A. R. S. Kennedy, Sam., pp. 122, 149), or a descriptive title (W. E. Barnes, Chron., p. 104), it is surely difficult, on historical grounds, to reconcile David's recurring fights with the Philistines with his subsequent escape from Saul to Achish of Gath (xxvii.; already anticipated in xxi. Io-15); see further § 6. Saul's jealousy, however, is in some way kindled, and there is already a hint at David's succession (xviii. 8 sqq., Septuagint omits 10 seq.). The stories of Merab (xviii. 17-19) and Michal ( vv. 20 sqq.) are duplicate, and a number of internal difficulties throughout are only partially removed in the shorter text of the Septuagint. In xx. David has realized Saul's hatred; but Jonathan scarcely credits it, although in xix. 1-7 Saul had instructed his attendants to slay the youth and his son had effected a reconciliation. This is ignored also in xix. 8-io (cf. xviii. 10 seq., xx. 31 sqq.), and again in vv. 11-17 where David is saved by Michal his wife (see xxv. 44), and in vv. 18-24 (David with Samuel, see § I end). Even in xx. the urgent preparations for flight are delayed in vv. 11-17, where Jonathan entreats David's kindness for his descendants (see 2 Sam. ix. 1, below), and again in vv. 40-42, where the second meeting with a renewal of the covenant stultifies the preceding plans.3 David.-All the stories of the relations between the founders of the respective monarchies are so closely interwoven that the disentanglement of distinct series of narratives is a .
task of the greatest difficulty. 4 They reflect in varying k41ngdoThe m forms the popular interest in David and are of the greatest value in illustrating current traditions, thought and styles of literature. Apart from the more detailed and continuous history, there are miscellaneous passages in 2 Sam. v.-viii., with introduction (v. 1-3), and a concluding chapter rounding off his reign (viii.). A similar collection in xxi.-xxiv. severs the narratives in ix.-xx. from David's death in i Kings Their contents range over all periods, from the Amalekite war (viii. 12, cf. i Sam. xxx.) to David's " last words " (xxiii. i, but see i Kings i. and ii. i). In particular they narrate the capture of Jerusalem from the Jebusites (v. 6-io) and other fights in that district as far as Gezer (vv. 17-25), the purchase of land from a Jebusite for the erection of an altar (xxiv.; see Chron. xxi.-xxii. 1, 2 Chron. iii. r), and the remarkable story of the pacification of the Gibeonites (xxi. 1-14). With the conflicts in v. are closely connected the exploits in xxi. 15 sqq., xxiii. 8 sqq., and the probability of some disarrangement is supported by the repetition of the list of officials in viii. 15-18 and xx. 23-26, which many scholars (after Budde) attribute to the later insertion of ix.-xx. 22. On this view. at an earlier stage the two groups v.-viii., xxi.-xxiv. were contiguous-though 2 It is difficult to decide which is the older; for xxvi. see especially M. Lohr, Sam., p. xlv.; H. Gressmann, Schriften d. A. T., ad loc.; for xxiv. see W. W. Guth, Journ. of Bibl. Lit. (1906), pp. 114 sqq.
The keen interest in Jonathan is also conspicuous at the very commencement of Saul's career, where the youth (in ix. Saul himself appears to be represented as an inexperienced youth) is the centre of the narrative (see xiii. 3, xiv. 1-14, 17, 21, 27-45), rather than the father who now achieves the task to which he was called by Yahweh. But the revision has been too complicated for any satisfactory discussion of the literary stages.
4 On the attempts (especially of K. Budde, Richter u. Samuel, 1890, and elsewhere) to recover here the Yahwistic (or Judaean) and Elohistic (or Ephraimite) sources of the Hexateuch, see the criticisms of B. Stade, Theolog. Lit. Zeitung (1896), No. I; Steuernagel, ib. (1903), No. 17; W. Riedel, Theol. Lit. Blatt (1904), No. 3, col. 28; also H. P. Smith, Journ. Bibl. Lit., 15 (1896), pp. 1-8; and W. W. Guth, Die dltere Schicht in den Erzdhlungen fiber Saul u. David (1904); and " Unity of the Older Saul-David Narratives " ( see note 2 above).
not necessarily in their present form or order.' Budde's further conclusion that I Kings i. ii. 1-9, 13 sqq. were likewise wanting ( Sam. p. xi.) is also valuable, since (a) 2 Sam. v.-viii. (with xxi.-xxiv.) finds its natural continuation, on the analogy of the Deuteronomic compiler's framework in Kings, in 1 Kings ii. 10-12, iii. 2, and ( b) i Kings v. 3 seq. (also Deuteronomic) explicitly points back to the summary of the wars in 2 Sam. viii. It is commonly recognized that the compiler of 2 Sam. v.-viii. has wrongly placed after the capture of Jerusalem (v. 6 sqq.) the conflict with the Philistines (v. 17 sqq.), where the " hold " is not Zion but some place of retreat, perhaps Adullam (cf. xxiii. 14). This being so, the conflicts in xxi. 15 sqq., xxiii. 8 sqq., which are located around Gath, Lehi (so read xxiii. i i), Pasdammim (so v. 9; see i Chron. xi. 13), Bethlehem, and the valley of Rephaim, should also precede the occupation of Jerusalem and the subsequent partition of territory among David's sons and others (e.g. xiii. 23, near Bethel). These passages combine to furnish a representation of the events leading to the capture of the capital which is distinct from and now superseded by the detailed narratives in ii. 12-iv. Here, Ishbaal is east of the Jordan, David's men are engaged in fighting Benjamin and Israel-even at Gibeon (about 6 m. N.W. of Jerusalem), the interest of the history is in David's former relations with Israel at Saul's court, and he is regarded as the future deliverer of the oppressed people. These stories are, in fact, of a stamp with the detailed narratives already noticed (§ 3), and they conflict with the fragmentary traditions of David's steps to Jerusalem as seriously as the popular narratives of Saul conflicted with older evidence. But already Josh. ix. 17, xv. 63; Judg. i. 21, 29, 35, xix. 10-12; 2 Sam. v. 6 (cf. xxi. 2), indicate the presence of a line of alien cities including Jerusalem itself, and would point to an important alien district, the existence of which obviously bears upon the trustworthiness of the group of narratives encircling Bethlehem of Judah and Gibeah of Benjamin, the traditional homes of David and Sau1.2 On the other hand, this would ignore the representation of (north) Israelite extension over Judah by Joshua and Sau1,3 and it may be inferred that we have to allow for absolutely different and conflicting standpoints in regard to the history of the district, and that the Judaean traditions of David once had their own independent account of the occupation of Jerusalem and its neighbourhood. The fragments preserved in 2 Sam. v.-viii., xxi.-xxiv. are quite distinct from ii. 12-iv.; they throw another light upon David's relations to Saul's family (xxi. 1-14); and the stories of heroic conflicts with giant-like figures of Gath, &c. (xxiii. 9 seq., 18, cf. 1 Chron. xi. II, 20) find no place by the side of the more detailed records of David's sojourn under the protection of a king of Gath, one of a confederation of Philistine cities (i Sam. xxvii., xxix.). It is probable that popular stories of the conquest of the earlier inhabitants have been applied to the Philistines; their general character associates them with the legends of the " sons of Anak " who enter into Judaean (perhaps originally Calebite) tradition elsewhere (Num. xiii. 22; Josh. xi. 21 seq., xv. 14; see Budde, Sam., p. 310 seq.). 4 Several intricate literary problems however at ' Cornill, Nowack, Stenning and Kennedy (see Literature, below) accept Budde's suggestion that ix.-xx. were inserted by a hand later than the first Deuteronomic editor of viii.; but the further assumption that this editor had deliberately omitted ix.-xx. from his' edition cannot be proved, and deals with a literary stage too early for any confident opinion or even for any critical investigation of value.
Jerusalem " in I Sam. xvii. 54 is usually treated as an anachronism, because of its occupation by the Jebusites, and Kirjathjearim (vii. I, 2, perhaps Kiryat el-Enab, 9 m. W. of Jerusalem) is commonly admitted to be in alien hands. But it is clear that Nob (I Sam. xxi. seq.), about 2 m. N. of the capital, on this view, was scarcely an Israelite city, yet the presence of the priests of Shiloh there is essential to the present structure of the book.
3 For Joshua, see the older portions of Josh. x., and for Saul, i Sam. xiv. 47-51 (his wars), xv. 4 (his Judaean army), xvii. 54 (Jerusalem), xxvii. 7-12 (south Judacan clans under Israelite suzerainty) and 2 Sam. i. 12 (Septuagint).
4 For this cf. the " Anakim " of Gaza, Gath and Ashdod, &c., in Josh. xi. 21 seq., with the " Philistine " lords, ib. xiii. 3, and see Philistines.
once arise in connexion with the two series v.-viii., xxi.-xxiv., and ix.-xx., since, apart from their earlier literary growth as distinct units, they have undergone some revision and alteration when compilers brought them into their present form.
The story of David and Bathsheba, an incident placed in the account of the Ammonite campaign, upon which it now depends (x.-xii.; with x. 15-19 cf. viii. 3-8), connects itself through the prophecy in xii. 10-12 with the subsequent family feuds, in particular with Absalom's rebellion (cf. xvi. 21 seq.), and again with i Kings i., where Adonijah's revolt rouses Bathsheba to persuade David to fulfil some promise of his to recognize her young son Solomon as his heir (i. 13, 17, 21, 29 seq.). The section is an admirable specimen of historiography. The whole is closely linked together for an ostensible purpose, a chronological scheme runs throughout (xiii. 23, 38, xiv. 28 and xv. 7), 5 and the section concludes with an account both of David's death and of Solomon's accession (see further Solomon). But 2 Sam. xii. 10 -12 is an insertion (Wellhausen, Cornill, Kittel, &c.), even if xii. 1 -15a itself be not of secondary origin (Winckler, Schwally, H. P. Smith, Nowack, Budde, Dhorme); and of the related passages, xv. 16 is a gloss (Budde), on xx. 3 see below, and the authenticity of xvi. 21-23 in its present context is not beyond doubt (see also Ahithophel). Although xxi. 1-14 and ix. are of entirely distinct standpoints,' both are presupposed in xvi. 5-14, xix. 16-23, and in xvi. 1-4, xix. 24-30 respectively; the gloss xxi. 7 evidently dates after the insertion of ix., while the opening words of ix. I point back, not to xxi. which is ignored, but rather to iv., from which it is now severed by the miscellaneous group of passages in v.-viii.' In view of a few recognized signs of diverse origin (contrast xiv. 27 with xviii. 18, and see Budde on xv. 24 sqq., xvii. 17), it is possible that xvi. I-14, xix. 16-30 are also secondary. In any case the new revolt of Sheba (xx. 1-22), can hardly be the original sequel to Absalom's rebellion (Winckler, H. P. Smith, B. Luther, E. Meyer); there is no historical prelude to I Kings i. (note the opening verse, David's old age, and cf. 2 Sam. xxiii. I), and the literary introduction to the story of Sheba is to be found in the closing scene of xix., apparently at the point where David returns to the Jordan on his way to Gilgal ( v. 40).8 It is to be noticed that the murder of Amasa (xx. 8 sqq.) is parallel to that of Asahel (ii. 12 sqq.), and the two (now preceding the separate groups v.-viii. and xxi.-xxiv.) are closely associated in i Kings ii. 5. The miscellaneous groups, v.-viii., xxi.-xxiv., are also certainly not in their original form. The introduction in v. 1-3 is twofold ( v. 3 and the incomplete v. i seq.), and the list in iii. 2-5 (note the resuming link v. 6 after v. 1) is similar in character to that in v. 13-16, and has probably been removed from the context of the latter (cf. I Chron. iii. 1-8). The presence of a late hand is also proved by the psalm in xxii. (Ps. xviii.) and by David's " last words," which sever xxi. 15-22 and xxiii. 8 sqq. These in turn part two related narratives in xxi. 1-14 and xxiv., and the latter (with which note the divergent features in i Chron. xxi.) shows several signs of later origin or revision. Chap. vii. is to be read in the light of i Kings v. 3-5, viii. 14 sqq., all Deuteronomic passages, though not of one stamp. Continuous warfare prevented the building of the temple (I Kings v. 3-5, cf. 2 Sam. viii.), and David's proposal to erect a house to Yahweh seems unnecessary after vi. 17 seq.; but vii. I, 9, in fact, presuppose ch. viii., and the main object of the narrative is to emphasize Yahweh's promise to build David's house, i.e. his dynasty. vii. is connected with i Kings viii. but an important variation ( v. 16 contrast 2 Sam. vii. 6-8) illustrates the complexity of the Deuteronomic sources. It is important to notice that, as in the account of the temple in the history of Solomon, the introduction to it in these chapters (2 Sam. vi. seq.) divides miscellaneous though closelyrelated material (see Kings). On their prelude in I Sam. vi. see below, § 6.
Thus, the account of David's conflicts with giant heroes and the conquest of Jerusalem and its district seems to belong to a cycle of Judaean tradition (cf. Num. xiii. 22, 28; s Josh. xi. 21, xv. 14), which has been almost superseded tives of by other traditions of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy ul and and by the more popular narratives of early relations David. between the Judaean David and the (north) Israelite king and In xv. 7 we must read four for forty (the vow in this verse refers to Absalom's exile some years previously).
6 On this and on the character of the detailed narratives in general, see B. Luther in E. Meyer, Israeliten u. ihre Nachbarstdmme, pp. 184-199. See, generally, the studies by W. Caspari, Aufkommen u. Krise d. israel. Konigtums unter David (1909) and Theol. Stud. u. Krit. (1909), pp. 317 sqq., 619 sqq.; and also H. Gressmann ( Literature, below).
' Chap. ix. belongs to the joint traditions of David and Saul (cf. ii. 5-iv.); v. 13, which presupposes chap. v., appears to be an addition (see H. P. Smith, Dhorme).
8 xix. 40 (all Judah and half Israel) resumes v. 15 (where Israel is not mentioned). For the view that Absalom's revolt originally concerned Judah alone, see the related section in David. Dhorme, it may be observed, finds in ix.-xx. another source for x. 1-14, xii. I-15a, xv. 1 -6, 10, 24-26, 29, xvi. 5-14, xvii. 27-29, xix. 16-23 and xx. 1-22.
people. The persistent emphasis upon such features as the rejection of Saul, his enmity towards David, the latter's chivalry, and his friendship for Jonathan, will partly account for the present literary intricacies; and, on general grounds, traditions of quite distinct origin (Calebite or Jerahmeelite; indigenous Judaean; North Israelite or Benjamite) are to be expected in a work now in post-exilic form.' David's history is handled independently of Saul in I Sam. xxv.; and the narrative, now editorially connected with the context (v. i, see xxviii. 3, and v. 44, see 2 Sam. iii. 15), gives a valuable picture of his life in the south of Palestine. 2 With this notice his relations with south Judaean cities in xxx. 26-31. His flight northwards to the Philistine king of Gath (xxvii.) is hardly connected with the preceding situations in xxiv. 17-22, xxv. or xxvi. 21-25, and his previous slaughter of the Philistines at Keilah (xxiii.1-15) raises historical difficulties. This is not to mention his earlier successes over the same people, which are very explicitly ignored in xxix. 5, although the famous couplet there quoted now finds its only explanation in xviii. 7 after the death of Goliath and the defeat of the Philistines. The traditions of varying relations between Judah and the Philistines attached to David (cf. xxvii. 5 seq.) are quite distinct from the popular stories of giants of Gath, and now form part of the joint history of David and Saul. The independent narratives of the latter's fate seem to represent one of those disastrous attacks upon the north which are familiar in the later history of the northern kingdom (xxviii. 4, xxix; see Jews: History, § 12). The geographical data are confused by the stories of David (see 1 Sam. xxviii. 4, xxix. 1, and the commentaries), and, while the " Philistines " for once march north to Jezreel to deliver their attack, David's presence is not discovered until Aphek is reached (xxix.). His journey is the opportunity for an Amalekite raid (xxx. cf. xxvii. 8 seq.), and this new defeat of Amalek, ascribed to David, proves a more successful undertaking than that which led to the rejection of Saul (xv. 20 seq. 26-28). Similarly, Saul's disaster leaves Israel again in the hands of the " Philistines " (xxxi. 7, cf. xiii. 6 seq.), and it is for David to save the people of Israel out of their hands (2 Sam. iii. 18, cf. r Sam. ix. 16). 3 The sequel to the joint history has another version of Saul's death (2 Sam. i. 6-ro, 13-16), and an Amalekite is the offender; contrast his death in i. 15 seq. with iv. Io seq. The chapter explains the transference of the royal insignia from Israel to Judah. Here is quoted (from the " Book of Jashar ") the old poetical lament over the death of the valiant friends Saul and Jonathan, describing their successful warlike career, the wealth they brought the people, and the vivid sense of national misfortune (i. 19-27). It is utilized for the history of David, to whom its authorship is attributed. In general, it appears that those narratives wherein the histories of Saul and David are combined-very much in the favour of the latterwere originally distinct from those where (a) Saul's figure is more in accord with the old poem from the Book of Jashar, and ( b ) where David's victories over prehistoric giants and his war like movements to Jerusalem pave the way for the foundation-from a particular Judaean standpoint-of his remarkably long dynasty.
The literary problems of the books of Samuel are those of the writing of the history of the monarchies from different points of view; and the intimate connexion of the books with my those that precede and follow shows that a careful consideration of the internal literary and historical features of these also is necessary. The first step is the recognition of a specific Deuteronomic redaction in Joshua-Kings, an intricate process which extended into the post-exilic age.4 Certain phenomena suggest that the first compilation was made outside Judah-in Israel, whereas others represent a Judaean and anti-Israelite feeling. The close interconnexion of Judg.
I Sam. xii. is as crucial as that of 2 Sam. v.--I Kings ii. The (probably ' The late genealogy of Saul in I Chron. viii. 29 sqq., ix. 35 sqq., is evidence for a keen interest in the Saulidae in post-exilic times. 2 The chapter with the prophecy of Abigail may be of Calebite origin.
So also, David's wars (2 Sam. viii.) bear a certain resemblance to those of Saul (I Sam. xiv. 47).
4 See G. F. Moore, Ency. Bib. " Historical Literature," § 6 seq. " Joshua," §§ 5, I I; " Judges," § 14.
Deuteronomic) framework of Israelite history in Kings can be traced in Samuel, and it is a natural assumption that it should have gone back beyond the time of Jeroboam I. While the detailed history of Israelite kings and prophets in I Kings xvii.-2 Kings x. (Ahab to Jehu) finds more developed parallels in the narratives of Saul and Samuel, the peculiar treatment of the lives of David and Solomon (Judaean kings over a united Israel) and of the division of the monarchy has complicated the present sources. Although the contents of 2 Sam. v.-viii., xxi.-xxiv., I Kings ii. 10-12, iii. 2, appear to have been consecutive (in some form) at an earlier stage, the connexion has been broken by ix.-xx., I Kings i. ii. 2-9, 13 sqq., and the further vicissitudes can scarcely be recovered; and while there are clear signs of more than one Deuteronomic hand in the former group, the latter shows in I Kings ii. 2-4 a Deuteronomic revision, either of independent origin or in the combination of the sources in their present form. Moreover, Samuel's farewell address (I Sam. xii.) belongs to the Deuteronomic and later account of Saul's rise, and closes the period of (a) the Israelite " judges " (see Judg. ii. 6-iii. 6, an extremely composite passage), and (b ) the Ammonite and Philistine oppression (ib. x. 6 sqq.). The former follows upon Joshua's two concluding speeches, one given by a Deuteronomic writer in xxiii., and the other incorporated by another though similar hand in xxiv. Although the pre-monarchical age is viewed as one of kinglike " judges," the chiefs are rather local heroes (so Ehud, Gideon, Jephthah), and the boisterous giant Samson (Judg. xiii. xvi.), and the religious leaders Eli and Samuel are " judges " from other standpoints. Perplexity is caused, also, in the oldest account of Saul's rise (I Sam. ix.) by the sudden introduction of a Philistine oppression which cannot be connected with vii. 2-viii., or even with I Sam. iv.-vii. I.' On the other hand, Judg. x. 6 sqq. refers to a Philistine oppression which has no sequel. It may be conjectured that there was an original literary connexion between the two which has been broken by the insertion of traditions relating to Samuel and Saul. ? This finds support (a) in the internal evidence for the later addition of Judg. xvii.-xxi., and of certain portions of the opening chapters of I Samuel; ( b) in the absence of any continuity in the intervening history; and ( c) in the material relationship between portions of the highly composite Judg. x. 6 sqq. and the rise of Saul. The literary processes thus involved find an analogy in the original connexion between 2 Sam. v.-viii. and xxi.-xxiv., or between Exod. xxxiii. seq. and Num. x. 29-36, xi. (see Saul).
The section I Sam. iv.-vii. I forms the prelude to Samuel's great victory and belongs to the history of Shiloh and the priesthood of Eli. But the fall of this sanctuary scarcely belongs to this remote age (11th century); it was sufficiently recent to serve as a warning to Jerusalem in the time of Jeremiah (close of 7th century). This event of supreme importance to north Israel (cf. Judg. xviii. 30 seq.) is already connected with Samuel's prophecy in iii., but the latter is strengthened by the Deuteronomic passage, ii. 27-36, which links the disaster, not with the history of Samuel, but with the rise of the Zadokite Levites of Jerusalem, and thus represents a specifically Judaean standpoint. This is analogous to the Judaean adaptation of the prophetical treatment of Saul's life, and it also reflects certain priestly rivalries (see Levites). With the loss of Shiloh is explained the appearance of the priests at Nob outside Jerusalem (xxi. 1, xxii. 9), which is followed by their massacre, the flight of Abiathar (xxii.), and the transference of the sacred ephod to David (xxiii. 6).8 Here, however, the emphasis laid upon the ephod brought by Abiathar, the survivor of the house of Eli (cf. ii. 28, xxi. 9), points away from what was once a common object of cult to the late and postexilic restriction of its use to the Aaronite high priests (see Ephod).
Moreover, according to I Kings ii. 26, Abiathar bore the ark, and while some traditions traced its history to Shiloh, or even found it at Bethel (Judg. xx. 27 seq.), others apparently ran quite another course, associated it with southern clans ultimately settled in Judah, and supposed that Jerusalem was its first resting-place. The author of 2 Sam. vii. 6 (cf. also I Chron. xxiii. 25 sq.) can scarcely have known I Sam. i.-iii. with its temple at Shiloh, and although 2 Sam. vi. finds its present prelude in I Sam. vi. 17-vii. I, that passage actually brings the story of its fortunes to a close by relating the return of the ark from Philistine territory to the care of Abinadab and Eleazar at Kirjath-jearim (note the " Levitical " type of the names; Budde, Sam. p. 47). From Josh. ix. 17 (post-exilic source) it might indeed be argued that the district was not under Israelite jurisdiction (see Kennedy, Sam. p. 325 seq.), although to judge from the older 6 With the length of office in I Sam. iv. 18 (cf. vii. 15) compare the similar notices in Judg. x. 2 seq., xii. 7 sqq., xv. 20, xvi. 31, and with the length of oppression in vii. 2, cf. Judg. iii. 8, 14, iv. 3, vi. I, x. 8, xiii. I.
6 Nowack, p. 39; Riedel, Theolog. Lit. Blatt (1904), No. 3, col. 28.
7 S. A. Cook, Critical Notes, p. 127 seq. (cf. Dhorme, Rev. Bibl., 1908, p. 43 6; Godbey, Amer. Journ. Theol., 1909, p. 610).
a Although writers sought to explain Saul's disastrous end (cf. I Chron. x. 13), it is only Josephus (Ant. vi. 14, 9) who refers to the atrocity at Nob. The significance of the tradition is unknown; some connexion with Saul's religious zeal at Gibeon has been conjectured (2 Sam. xxi. 2). That the actual murderer was an Edomite may perhaps be associated with other traditions of Edomite hostility.
traditions of Saul it was doubtless part of his kingdom. It may be that the narrative (which presupposes some account of the fall of Shiloh) is part of an attempt to co-ordinate different traditions of the great palladium.' Consequently, the literary structure of the Book of Samuel is throughout involved with a careful criticism of the historical tradi- 7. mtions ascribed to the I 1 th and beginning of the 10th century Su n,. B.C. The perspective of the past has often been lost, earlier ma views have been subordinated to later ones, conflicting standpoints have been incorporated. The intricacy of the Deuteronomic redactions still awaits solution, and the late insertion of earlier narratives (which have had their own vicissitudes) complicates the literary evidence. Greater care than usual was taken to weave into the canonical representation of history sources of diverse origin, and it is scarcely possible at present to do more than indicate some of the more important features in the composition of a book, one of the most important of all for the critical study of biblical history and theology.
The Hebrew text is often corrupt but can frequently be corrected with the help of the Septuagint. The parallel portions in Chronicles also sometimes preserve better readings, but must be used with caution as they may represent other recensions or the result of rewriting and reshaping. As a whole, Chronicles presents the period from a later ecclesiastical standpoint, presupposing (in contrast to Samuel) the fully developed " Mosaic " ritual (see Chronicles). After tribal and priestly lists (t Chron. i.-ix.), Saul's end is suddenly introduced (x., note v. 13 seq.). David appears no less abruptly, the sequence being 2 Sam. v. 1-3, 6-10, xxiii. 8-39 (with additions, xi. 41-47, and a list of his supporters at Ziklag and Hebron). To 2 Sam. vi. 2-II there is a " Levitical " prelude (xiii. 1-5), then follow v. 11-25, and vi. 12-19, which is embedded in novel material. Next, 2 Sam. vii. seq., x., xi. I, xii. 30 seq., xxi. 18-22, and finally xxiv. (Chron. xxi.). The last is the prelude to an account of the preparation for the temple and the future sovereignty of Solomon, and ends with David's army and government (Chron. xxvii.), and his concluding acts (xxviii. seq.). The compiler was not ignorant of other sources (see x. 13, xii. 19, 21, 23), and, in general, carries out, though from a later standpoint, tendencies already manifest in Samuel. The latter in fact is no less the result of editorial processes and since it is now in post-exilic form, this is the starting-point for fresh criticism. The representation of the remote past in Samuel must be viewed, therefore, in the light of that age when, after a series of vital internal and external vicissitudes in Judah and Benjamin, Judaism established itself in opposition to rival sects and renounced the Samaritans who had inherited the traditions of their land. See further Jews, §§ 6-8, 20-23, Palestine: Old Test. History, pp. 614-616.
LITERATURE. - See further the commentaries of M. Lohr (1898); W. Nowack, K. Budde (1902); H. P. Smith in the International Critical Commentary (1899), with his Old Testament History, pp. 107155, and the small but well-annotated edition of A. R. S. Kennedy in the Century Bible (1905). All these give fuller bibliographical information, for which see also S. R. Driver, Introduction to Literature of Old Testament, and the articles by J. Stenning in Hastings's Dictionary and B. Stade in Ency. Bib. For the text, see especially J. Wellhausen's model Text-Biicher Sam. (1871); S. R. Driver, Text of Samuel (1890); K. Budde's edition in Haupt's Sacred Books of the Old Testament (1894); P. Dhorme, Livres de Samuel (19to). Of special value for the psychological character of the various narratives is H. Gressmann's Schriften d. A. T. in Auswahl, i.-iii. (GÃ¶ttingen, 1909-1910). In so far as the present article takes other views of the results of literary analysis in the light of historical criticism, see S. A. Cook, American Journ. of Sem. Lang. (1900), pp. 145 sqq.; and Critical Notes on Old Testament History (1907) ( passim). (S. A. C.)
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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Books of Samuel'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/bri/b/books-of-samuel.html. 1910.