Thursday, April 29, 2010

1 Samuel, Chapters 2 & 3

Chapter 2

Hannah sings a hymn of praise to god, including the lyric The lord killeth (v. 6), showing she knows exactly who she's complimenting here. We also find out, in verse 8, that the world is set upon pillars. Personally, I always liked the one where a woman falls out of the sky and lands on a turtle's back, but whatever floats your boat.

When she finishes singing, she goes home and leaves her son behind with Eli's two sons, who are corrupt. First of all, they keep the meat from the sacrifices for themselves. Samuel, on the other hand, is a good boy. Coincidentally, he's supposed to be the author of this book. Self-serving much?

Hannah comes back to visit with new clothes every year, and in time she has another five children. Eli's sons take to having sex with the women who gather outside the temple. Their father reproaches them, but they don't listen because god has already decided to kill them. You know, if I was in the same situation, I'd do exactly what they're doing. I'd make a terrible Calvinist.

Next, a man of god (whom Jerry of course thinks is Jesus) comes along and rebukes Eli, accusing him of spoiling his sons and informs him that all the members of his family will die before their time and the rest will be cursed. He'll start with killing the two sons on the same day as a sign, and he'll put an honest priest in their place. Gee, do you think the 'honest priest' will be Samuel?

Chapter 3

Oh gosh, look at that! Samuel is ministering to the people, but god doesn't have much to say. Much as he hasn't since his book was published. Eli is getting old, and one night a voice calls out to the sleeping Samuel. He assumes it's Eli, so he runs out to see what he wants. On the third try, Eli figures out it's god talking. And what is god so eager to tell Samuel? Why, that he's going to punish Eli, of course! For his sons' sins! And then all the generations of his family after that. What was that about god being just and merciful?

The next day, Samuel is reluctant to share the heavenly threats with Eli, but Eli presses. Eli accepts his punishment without complaint. Samuel grows up and eventually god speaks to him again. The chapter ends on that dramatic note, as the bible finally learns about suspenseful buildup.

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