Larry Hunt's Bible Commentary


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I Samuel 12

Chapter 12


v. 9: The reference to selling them sounds much like Judges 2:14 and makes me wonder if Samuel was the author of the book of Judges.  This would be interesting in light of his relation to Saul and David, Israel’s first kings.  I’ve always thought it strange that Judges ends the way it does with such a dark, and seemingly arbitrary, story.  Perhaps the book of Ruth should be considered the last part of Judges (as it is in the Hebrew Bible).  If so, the ending of Judges is not arbitrary but rather takes on thematic significance.  It is set in the hometown of Saul, whereas the ending of Ruth traces the genealogy leading to David.  If Samuel was the author of both books (or of both sections of the one book), his choice of endings for both books might make for an interesting comment on the reigns of these two kings whom he anointed: the one ends darkly, while the other ends with blessing and hope.


v. 11:  If Samuel includes himself among the judges here, and he wrote the book of Judges, why doesn’t he include himself there?  (Of course, one could argue that he does include himself by extension here and that it is only our current division of the books that makes him seem to be excluded from the book of Judges.)


v. 12:  So here is the reason they wanted a king, not to be fashionable like all the other nations, but to defend against this Nahash.  This would explain their concern for Samuel’s age (8:5).  It might also explain why Samuel took some degree of personal offence at their request (8:7).


v. 16:  The severity of this rebuke on such a festive occasion must have shocked the people.


v. 23:  This is in response to the people’s request in v. 19.


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