Samuel’s Birth & Samuel

Now I see, starting with Abraham, everything leads to the birth of Jesus. 

I know that You can do anything so it doesn’t matter who that person is or what he or she has done, when You choose a person(s) to fall into Your plan You make it work, not them, and nothing can intervene.

NOTE: The Book of First Samuel more-or-less follows the Book of Joshua.  The Book of Judges is like a fill-in for the Book of Joshua.  And Ruth, let us say, is like a suburb of the citie’s Joshua and the First Book of Samuel.  Yet, it is a very important suburb.

Also, even though the Book of First Samuel follows the Book of Joshua, the two also somewhat blend in together.

The Hill Country of Ephraim
The King James Version uses the term “Mount Ephraim” for the hill country area in what is today known as Samaria, in central Israel (Judea is to the south, Galilee is to the north).

Much of the area was allotted to the tribe of Ephraim, hence its name, however it is also recorded in the KJV as the inclusive

“mountains of Israel” (Josh11:21) and

the “mountains of Samaria” (Jer 31:5-6).

In the time of Joshua, when the Israelites entered the promised land, the area was densely wooded i.e.

“The mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine” (Josh 17:18).

I am not a scholar, nor do I choose to become one, but I have read the Bible enough times that what I say above is how it appears to be to me.

Also, my understanding of God does not come from scholars or theologists. My understanding of God comes when I read the Bible and ask Him for an explanation. 

Any questions I ask God in regard to my own life He answers, sometimes not right away, but when that knowledge is needed for me to know.  

For example, I waited almost 3 years to renew my driver’s license because He told me to do so.  He didn’t tell me why or when it would be the right time, but I waited and the day finally came.

Once I got the driver’s license He also told me to hold off on getting a vehicle, He new what type of car I wanted and what I could afford so He told me He would let me know my car would be available.  I only had to wait 7 months for it.

Also, my mother and I told Him we want to move and for Him to show us where to move to.  His answer has not come yet.  He has not answered us yet so maybe we are not to move or it just isn’t time.  But he will let us know.  That is what faith is all about.  

We, like Ruth and many others did, must trust in the Lord and I guarantee He will give you the best.

Samuel’s Birth

“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 

And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh.  And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there” (1 Sam 1:1-3).

When the time came for him to perform his offering to God he gave a portion to Peninnah, a portion to his sons, and a portion to his daughters.  But to Hannah, even though God had made her barren, he gave a worthy portion because he loved her.

Every year God shut Hannah’s womb so her adversary would tease her about it and finally it was so distressing that she wept and wouldn’t eat.

“Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou?  And why eatest thou not?  And why is thy heart grieved?  Am not I better to thee than ten sons? 

According to the Book of Joshua, Joshua divided the newly conquered land of Canaan into parcels, and assigned them to the Tribes of Israel by lot. The Book of Joshua describes the parcels by giving landmarks along the borders, or in some cases by listing the included cities. If the landmarks listed in Joshua can be identified with modern sites, the borders can be placed on a map.

A general principle, articulated by the archaeologist Yohanan Aharoni, is that each town had a surrounding territory of villages and land that were dependent on it, and the tribal borders ran along the borders of these territories, rather than through the towns themselves. It may be possible to determine the borders of town territories by looking at archaeological field surveys.

The division of Canaan into tribal territories is supposedly set at the time of Joshua’s conquest. But by the Bible’s account, and archaeologically as well, the Israelites did not conquer the plains at that time; thus, those borders that run through the plains are nominal; they partition land that Israel did not possess.

Those in green are the tribe of Levi, as the priesthood, were distributed throughout the other tribes.

The above map may or may not coincide with all of the above information in regard to dates.

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD” (1 Sam 1:8-9).

Hannah was in such grief and tears that she made a vow to God,

“…O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. 

And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. 

Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken?  Put away thy wine from thee. 

And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. 

Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.

Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 

And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad” (1 Sam 1:11-19).

Joseph’s Tomb is a funerary monument located at the eastern entrance to the valley that separates Mounts Gerizim and Ebal, 325 yards northwest of Jacob’s Well, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, near Tell Balāṭa, the site of biblical Shechem.

One biblical tradition identifies the general area of Shechem as the resting-place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.

Joseph’s tomb has been venerated throughout the ages by Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Muslims.

Post-biblical records regarding the location of Joseph’s Tomb at this site date from the beginning of the 4th-century A.D.

The present structure, a small rectangular room with a cenotaph, dates from 1868, and is devoid of any trace of ancient building materials.

While some scholars, such as Kenneth Kitchen and James K. Hoffmeier still affirm the essential historicity of the biblical account of Joseph, many others, such as Donald B. Redford, argue that the story itself has ‘no basis in fact’.

Modern scholarship has yet to determine whether or not the present cenotaph is to be identified with the ancient biblical gravesite.

No Jewish or Christian sources prior to the 5th century mention the tomb, and the structure originally erected over it appears to have been built by the Samaritans, for whom it was probably a sacred site.

And when it was time, Hannah had a son and she named him Samuel meaning “because I have asked him of the LORD” (1 Sam 1:20).

Elkanah, and his house hold, went to do their annual offering, and his vow.  But Hannah stayed at home because Samuel had not yet been weaned.  She said once he was she would take Samuel into the woods and place him before God.

Hannah was very happy and she prayed,

.”..My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any 1 rock like our God.

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.

They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.

The LORD 2 killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.

The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

Hill of Timnath is in the hill country of Ephraim and was one assigned an inheritance to Joshua, which of course he was buried.

“Of all sites I have seen,” says Lieut. Col. Conder, “none is so striking as that of Joshua’s home, surrounded as it is with deep valleys and wild, rugged hills.”

Opposite the town is a hill, on the northern side of which there are many excavated sepulchres.

Among these is the supposed tomb of Joshua, which is said to be “the most striking monument in the country.”

It is a “square chamber with five excavations in three of its sides, the central one forming a passage leading into a second chamber beyond.

A great number of lamp-niches cover the walls of the porch, upwards of two hundred, arranged in vertical rows.

A single cavity with a niche for a lamp has been thought to be the resting-place of the warrior-chief of Israel.”

The modern Kefr Haris, 10 miles south-west of Shechem.

He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.

He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

3 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall Judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed” (1 Sam 2:-10).

Elkanah went to his house in Ramah.

“Now the sons of Eli were sons of 4 Belial; they knew not the LORD. 

And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;

And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the flesh hook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither” (1 Sam 2:12-14).

Elkanah’s sons hated the offering to God, and their sins were great.

Samuel, even as a child, ministered to God, and Hannah had made him a linen ephod, with a new little coat she gave him each year.

“And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters.  And the child Samuel grew  before the LORD.

Shechem was a Canaanite city mentioned in the Amarna letters, and is mentioned in the Bible as an Israelite city of the tribe of Manasseh and the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel.

Traditionally associated with Nablus,it is now identified with the site of Tell Balata in Balata al-Balad in the West Bank.

It lays north of Bethel and Shiloh, on the high road going from Jerusalem to the northern districts (Jdg 21:19), at a short distance from Michmethath (Josh 17:7) and of Dothain (Gen 37:12-17); it was in the hill-country of Ephraim (Josh 20:7; 21:21; 1 Kgs 12:25; 1 Chr 6:67; 7:28), immediately below Mount Gerizim (Jdg 9:6-7).

These indications are completed by Josephus, who says that the city lay between Mount Ebal and Mt. Gerizim, and by the Madaba map, which places Sychem, also called Sikima between the Tour Gobel (Ebal) and the Tour Garizin (Garizim).

The site of Shechem in patristic sources is almost invariably identified with or located close to the town of Nablus.

Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 

And he said unto them, Why do ye such things?  For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.  

Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.

If one man sin against another, the Judge shall Judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall entreat for him?  Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay th

The Amarna Letters were discovered in 1887 by a village woman digging ancient mud-brick for use as fertilizer.

They are an important record of Egypt during a period of 15 to 30 years during the later part of Amenophis III’s (1391-1353 B.C.) rule and the rule of Akhenaten (1353-1336 B.C.).

We know of 382 tablets, but many others were probably destroyed, or may even be a part of unknown private collections.

Basically, their content, mostly written in provincial Babylonian, can be divided into two sections.

Though there is some dispute on the matter, the first section seems to be a record of various rulers of Babylonia, Assyria, Mitanni, Arzawa, Alashiya (Cyprus) and the land of the Hittities and their dealings with Egypt and each other.

The second and larger group of documents describes the petty rivalries and disputes between Egypt’s vassal states in Syria and Palestine.

The letters give insight to political conditions, diplomatic marriage, trade and commodities such as glass, gold and iron during this period of time.

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As Samuel grew he became favored more by the people and God” (1 Sam 2:21-26).

A man of God came to Eli and told him that God had said,

“I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me forever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 

Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.

And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house forever.

And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. 

And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.

And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed forever. 

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a piece of bread” (1 Sam 2:30-36).

1 Psalm 18:2-3, 91:2-4

2 Deut 32:39

3 Rev 20:11-15, 21:6-8

4 Meaning, “Worthless, Good-for-nothing”, and it may have a link to Baal. 

Nabal receives such a description from his wife Abigail (cf Raca Matt 5:22)The Apostle Paul uses the term where it stands in opposition of Jesus, i.e., Satan or Antichrist (2 Cor 6:15).

Samuel

Samuel anointing Saul – Bible, Samuel X, 1: ‘ Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and saidIs it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? ‘ (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Samuel, the son of Elkanah, and his wife Hannah, was a prophet and the last of Israel’s Judges.  Samuel grew up under Eli, who was the priest at Shiloh.  He served a variety of roles in Israel.  He was a prophet, a judge and a military leader.  He was widely recognized throughout the country (1 Samuel 3:20).  His home was in Ramah, were he headed groups of prophets.

At this time in Israel’s history, about 3000 years ago, the nation was ruled by judges who settled disputes, not kings.  But the people demanded to have a king, like other nations.  Samuel was opposed to having a king rule over Israel because he interpreted that as an act of apostasy and a rejection of the Kingship of God.  God told Samuel to anoint Saul, son of Kish, as king, and so the people got what they wanted.

However, in time, the relationship between Saul and Samuel deteriorated and Saul took over certain functions that had belonged to a priest, not a king. In addition, Saul disobeyed God after the battle with the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:1-23).  God had Samuel anoint young David to be the next king.

King Saul grew jealous of David.  David fled from Saul and was given refuge by Samuel in his home in Ramah.  David eventually succeeded Saul as king, but Samuel did not live long enough to see that. The story of Samuel is found in the book named 1 Samuel, chapters 1-25.