This volume of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary represents the final work of renowned scholar Harry A. Hoffner, Jr. An expert Hittitologist, Hoffner brings his understanding of ancient Near Eastern cultures to the text of 1–2 Samuel, providing a commentary that is sure to make an impact for years to come. First and Second Samuel pick up where the book of Judges leaves off, continuing the narrative sweep of the history of Israel. They cover the life of the prophet Samuel, the rise and fall of Saul as King, and the reign of King David. Hoffner examines these books in their historical context, he discusses the many characters found throughout, and he considers how they anticipate a coming perfect king, Yahweh’s true Anointed One.
The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series is a premiere biblical commentary rooted in the original text of Scripture. Incorporating the latest in critical biblical scholarship and written from a distinctly evangelical perspective, each comprehensive volume features a remarkable amount of depth, providing historical and literary insights, and addressing exegetical, pastoral, and theological details. Readers will gain a full understanding of the text and how to apply it to everyday life.
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“They are like barometers that warn us that our relationship with God has grown distant and cold. It should be a time of taking stock. We need to tell God that we want his fellowship.” (source)
“Yahweh doesn’t say, ‘he will come to you,’ but rather, ‘I will send him to you.’ Saul was unaware that it was Yahweh who had caused the donkeys to stray, and that it was Yahweh who prevented Saul from being able to locate them.” (1 Samuel 9:16)
“Similarly, in 1 Samuel the ‘harmful spirit from God/Yahweh’ is not necessarily an ‘evil spirit,’ but a spirit sent by Yahweh, who is justifiably angry at Saul’s willful disobedience. The spirit is sent in order to lead Saul to repent and find relief. The temporary relief (רָוַח, rawach, ironically a wordplay on the word for ‘spirit,’ רוּחַ, ruach) that came through David’s lyre-playing could have been intended to lead Saul to a more permanent change in attitude toward God and God’s will. But—because he refused to respond—this temporary relief only lasted for brief periods, until such time as he, hardened with lethal jealousy, fixated permanently on David, Yahweh’s beneficent agent. Then his opportunity was lost.” (1 Samuel 16:14)
“According to Leviticus 21:18, Eli’s physical blindness would have disqualified him from office. Thus, the reference to his blindness alerts us to the need for a new and better priest.” (1 Samuel 3:2–3)
“The specification that Elkanah’s home (and Samuel’s birthplace), Ramah (Ramathaim) of the Zuphites, was located in the hill country of Ephraim could be intended to remind us of the corruption, chaos, and violence that occurred in this same region in the final chapters of Judges (esp. Judg 19–21). In contrast, in the opening verses of 1 Samuel we find a scene of intense and sincere piety.” (1 Samuel 1:1)
Harry A. Hoffner Jr. is the John A. Wilson Professor of Hittitology Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the founding editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the author of over 20 books on the Hittites and the ancient Near East, and the co-author of the definitive grammar of the Hittite language.