1Samuel

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In the latter days of the period of judges, Eli of the tribe of Levi was the chief priest, and the Immigrants also came to him to act in the role of judge between them. Eli was the first judge to be accepted by the whole House of Israel, but his own sons Hophni and Phinehas were greedy, and contrary to the Law they enlarged their own portion of the offerings made to Yahweh, and Eli knew this but refused to rebuke his sons.

And there was at this time a young man named Samuel who served Yahweh under Eli, and lived in his house, and Eli considered him almost another son.

One night Samuel began to hear voices, and Eli recognized that he was beginning to receive revelations from Yahweh. Eli instructed Samuel on how to listen, and Samuel did all that he was told.

But the words he heard were grievous for Eli and Samuel feared to speak them. In the morning Samuel came to Eli, but was silent, and Eli ordered him to speak, and he said may Yahweh punish Samuel if he did not speak.

Thus constrained, Samuel had no choice but to repeat the words of the vision and pronounce doom on the house of Eli. He said many of the descendants of Eli would die by the sword, and of those who escaped this, none would attain to old age. The remnant of his family would beg to be appointed to a priestly function that they may have at least a morsel of bread to eat.

A sign was given by Samuel so that Eli would know beforehand that this divine curse was coming true: Both of Eli's sons would die on the very same day.

And it came to pass in the lands nigh to the sea claimed by the tribe of Ephraim that all of the men under arms in Israel camped at Ebenezer, while the Philistines camped at nearby Aphek. In the battle that followed, thirty-four thousand men among the House of Israel were killed, severely wounded, or taken captive. And Eli's two sons Hophni and Phinehas were among the dead. When word of this reached Eli in Shiloh, Eli tipped back in his chair and struck the ground, breaking his neck.

Thus passed Eli, who had judged all of the House of Israel for forty years. And Samuel, already a renowned prophet, attributed the terrible defeat to the devotion of the Israelites to foreign gods, and exhorted them to return to Yahweh and offer worship to him alone.

So at Mizpah the people renewed their covenanted devotion to Yahweh and Samuel began to judge all Israel on that day, and under Samuel the Philistines were routed, and the territory from Ekron to Gath was restored to Israelite control. The Philistines were subdued for all the years of Samuel's life, and there was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.


1 Samuel is such perfect picture of Christianity as it is practiced today is should be moved into the New Testament.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:

"I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, ... Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." 1 Sam. 15:1-3

1 Samuel is such perfect picture of Christianity as it is practiced today is should be moved into the New Testament. Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel... go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (1 Sam. 15:1-3)

And when did Amalek sin against Israel? Way back in the Sinai days, probably 250 years before the time of King Saul. Christianity is all about holding grudges for centuries. That is why Jews are called "Christ-killers" today.

There are basic principles at play when you punish someone. One, it has to be timely in order to correct the behavior at hand. Two, you have to leave the punishee alive, or the correction is a waste of time. Three, the punishment should be proportional to the offense...you don't cut off someone's hand for flipping the bird. Since the Amalekites did not wipe out the Israelites but only discomfited them, it's not logical to wipe them out down to the last man, woman, child, and head of cattle 250 years later. In fact, it smells like nothing more than vengeance.

As ordered, Saul went ahead and killed every man, woman, child, and animal among the Amalekies but he spared their king, Agag.

Fundies like to say Exodus 20:13 means "do not murder" rather than "do not kill". Well, okay, let's play that game. It's just killing to slay a soldier on the battlefield, and it's just killing to slay all the women and children, but to kill an unarmed man after the battle (the King) is murder. On judgment day, Saul could point to the Law and say, "I slew those fierce babies and women in the heat of the battle, but not the King because I didn't want people to think I was a cold-blooded murderer."

The prophet Samuel, last and greatest of the judges of Israel, immediately rebuked Saul in the name of the LORD for sparing King Agag. And here's the part that makes the whole tale resemble modern Christianity: Saul repented, acknowledged his sin, and begged for forgiveness.

And the forgiveness was not granted!

Then Samuel himself finished the job on Agag, went away, and never saw Saul again. So you can see that Samuel was the perfect proto-Christian.

Yes, this is about you.

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