Gospel Doctrine Podcast Lesson 22, 1 Samuel 9-17

Gospel Doctrine Podcast Lesson 22, 1 Samuel 9-17 June 11, 2010

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Below are the podcast notes on Lesson 22, 1 Samuel 9-17.

Hebrew text of Samuel is problematic.
Jewish Study Bible, “meaning of Hebrew uncertain”

[On the book of Samuel, see  the scholarly tool Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Book of Samuel available freely here (electronic Logos edition), and the useful literary translation with notes/commentary by Robert Alter (Amazon link, Google Books preview .

On textual errors in general, see this article from Biblical Archaeology Review.


The King James Version was a revision of earlier translations such as the Bishop’s Bible and Tyndale, which were based on late Hebrew manuscripts dating to c. 1000 AD.

[See Leningrad codex, Aleppo codex, and codex Cairensis.]

Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1940’s, complete Old Testament except for Esther [which may or may not be an accident. The Book of Esther doesn’t have the name of God in it.]

Example 1– KJV “Saul reigned one year, and when he had reigned two years…”, but the Hebrew says, “Saul was one year old when he began to reign, and he was king two years…” Compare NRSV “Saul was . . .years old when he began to reign; and he reigned for . . . and two years over Israel.”

Example 2– Who is Nahash? Dead Sea Scrolls have a paragraph not present in later Hebrew manuscripts.

Now Nahash king of the Ammonites oppressed the Gadites and Reubenites mightily and gouged out the right eye of every one of them and imposed fear and terror on Israel, and there remained not a man of the Israelites beyond the Jordan whose right eye Nahash king of the Ammonites did not gouge out.  [But]  seven thousand men fled from the Ammonites and came Jabesh-gilead. And after about a month (and here’s where we pick up in the traditional Hebrew text), and after about a month, Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh-gilead…

Example 3– How tall is Goliath? Traditional Hebrew text says 9’9″. Average height was about 5 feet. Dead Sea Scrolls say 6’9″. Robert Wadlow, tallest confirmed at 8’11”.

Philistines= one of the Sea Peoples. Arrive by boat c. 1200 BC during (contributing to?) a general collapse, along with sherden, danuna, sikil. Peleshet=Philistine=Palestine.

5 Philistine cities along coast- Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza

From Wikipedia

Late Bronze Age – 1550–1200 BC

Iron Age (I)- 1200-1000

Iron Age (II) 1000-550

Israelites have little iron. Have to go to Philistines to get tools sharpened.

NRSV 1Sa 13:19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, ‘The Hebrews must not make swords or spears for themselves’; 20so all the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen their ploughshares, mattocks, axes, or sickles;21The charge was two-thirds of a shekel* for the ploughshares and for the mattocks, and one-third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. 22So on the day of the battle neither sword nor spear was to be found in the possession of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

David- 1Sa 17:50 “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand.”

Who Killed Goliath?
2Sa 21:19 “Then there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.”

1Chr 20:5 “Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliah the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.”

KJV 2Sa 21:19 “And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregimg, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.”

Saul doesn’t know David-

As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?”

Abner replied, “As surely as you live, O king, I don’t know.”

56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”

57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.

58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.

David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

3 traditions- 1 about Elhanan, 2 about David. For more on this, see the notes in the NET Bible at the various passages, such as here.

Next week, parallelism, covering your feet, the symbolic rank of hemlines, and David the renegade hiding out in the wilderness.

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