Sources for the two books of Samuel Opposition to the monarchy Support for the monarchy
1 Samuel 8 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
2 Samuel 7 [to David] When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.
Text developed in discrete stages 1. Narrative about the Ark and its capture 2. An account of Saul’s failed kingship 3. The story of David’s early acheivements 4. “Succession Narrative” or Court History about the struggles of David’s heirs
This work is unlike other Near Eastern king dynasties It includes the weaknesses of character as well as the strengths
Carefully constructed work of literature, tying together many sources with similar themes of divine election that is in Genesis and Exodus Deuteronomistic and other authors including J, and poems of great antiquity (ie the Song of Hannah)
‘My heart exults in Yahweh, my horn is exalted in my God, my mouth derides my foes for I rejoice in your power of saving.’
Samuel protégé of the high priest Eli Samuel hears the call of Yahweh
In the first seven chapters of 1 Samuel, Israel’s political and religious situation is bleak The Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant
So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy upon it.
The Philistines are afflicted and so return the Ark A 20-year unreliable peace follows