The Bible is both a divine and a human book. It is the inspired word of God for his people, whether in biblical times or for the church today. It is also a fully human book, written by different people in a variety of cultural settings. Knowledge of biblical language and society is essential if the meaning of the human writer is to be grasped fully. The Apollos Old Testament Commentary aims to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts and shows the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers. This commentary begins with an introduction, which gives an overview of the issues of date, authorship, sources and so on, but which also outlines more fully than usual the theology of 1 and 2 Samuel and provides pointers toward its interpretation and contemporary application. The annotated translation of the Hebrew text by the author forms the basis for the subsequent commentary. The form and structure section examines the context of a passage, its use of rhetorical devices, and source and form-critical issues. The comment section is a thorough, detailed exegesis of the historical and theological meaning of the passage. The explanation—the goal of the commentary—offers a full exposition of the theological message within the framework of biblical theology, and a commitment to the inspiration and authority of the Old Testament.
“It should be borne in mind that the OT is seldom concerned with secondary causation, and since Yahweh is Lord of all, the spirit is seen as coming from him. But the narrative still holds Saul responsible for his actions while afflicted (18:10–11; 19:10), so though this statement is absolute, the wider narrative indicates that a more nuanced understanding is necessary.” (Page 187)
“The point is that the victory belongs to Yahweh alone: it was achieved neither by Samuel as a military leader, nor through any king. It is Yahweh whom the nation need, and they in faithfulness simply need to follow him as their king.” (Page 108)
“David’s election fits the wider scriptural pattern where Yahweh consistently chooses those who might otherwise have been passed over—notably the younger and the barren.” (Pages 184–185)
“Saul’s sin is not some cultic irregularity but the choice to set aside the command relating to the task he was set.” (Page 155)
“David is completely enmeshed in sin: he has become the monarch about whom Samuel warned.” (Page 416)