Samuel’s Place by Patrick Henry Reardon

Samuel’s Place

The period of Israel’s judges—from the death of Joshua to the anointing of Saul—is divided into two biblical records: the Book of Judges and the opening chapters of 1 Samuel. The early editors of the Old Testament, who determined the division of this material, were doubtless guided by a sense that the ministry of Samuel provided an essential narrative hinge between the judges and kings of Israel. It seemed to those editors that Samuel’s importance lay less in his sequence with the other judges than in his preparation for the monarchy. Israel’s memory tied him closer to Saul and David than to Ehud and Jephthah.

If we look for comparisons between the ministries of Samuel and Israel’s other judges, Deborah provides the clearest resemblance. Neither she nor Samuel was remembered as a warrior, though each of them inspired others—Barak and Saul—to combat. The ministries of both Deborah and Samuel, moreover, were associated with Ramah, where the Israelites gathered to consult them (Judges 4:5; 1 Sam. 7:17).

Also, Samuel’s mother, Hannah, came—like Deborah—from “the mountains of Ephraim.” The biblical editors suggest this connection by placing the canticles of Deborah and Hannah near the beginnings of their respective books.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

20.6—July/August 2007

The Anglo-Saxon Evangel

The Beowulf Poet Was a Shrewd Christian Apologist by Douglas Wilson

28.3—May/June 2015

The Spy Who Turned Witness

Whittaker Chambers's Lonely War Against Godless Collectivism by Hunter Baker

18.8—October 2005

XXX-Communicated

on Why Pornography Is Not the Sin We Say It Is by Anthony Esolen

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00