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SAMUEL OF NEHARDEA

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 123 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAMUEL OF NEHARDEA, usually called MAR SAMUEL Or YARHINAI (c. 165-c. 257), Babylonian Rabbi, was born in Nahardea in Babylonia and died there c. 257. He is associated with the fame of his great contemporary Rab (Abba Araka q.v.). Besides his mastery in the traditional Law, which added much to the growing reputation of the Rabbinic Academy of his native town, Samuel was famed for his scientific attainments. In particular his knowledge of astronomy was profound, and he was one of the first to compile a Calendar of the Jewish year, thus preparing the way for the fixation of the festivals by means of scientific calculations. But Samuel's fame rests on the service which he rendered in adapting the life of the Jews of the diaspora to the law of the land. " The law of the State is binding law," was the principle which Samuel enunciated, here carrying to its logical outcome the admonition of Jeremiah. When the king of Persia, Shapur, captured Mazaca-Caesarea, the Cappadocian capital, Samuel refused to mourn for the 12,000 Jews who lost their lives in its defence. As Graetz says: " To Jeremiah and Mar Samuel Judaism owes the possibility of existence in a foreign country." See Graetz, History of the Jews (English translation), vol. .ii. ch. xix. (I. A.) SAMUEL, BOOKS OF, two books of the Old Testament, which in the Jewish canon are ranked among the Former Prophets (Joshua-Kings), in contrast to the Latter Prophets (Isaiah-Malachi). The division into two (like the two Hebrew books of Kings) follows the Septuagint and the Vulgate, whose four books of " kingdoms " correspond to the Hebrew books of Samuel and Kings. Both Samuel and Kings, like Judges, are made up of a series of extracts and abstracts from various sources, worked over from time to time by successive editors, and freely handled by copyists down to a comparatively late date, as is shown by the numerous and often important variations between the Hebrew text and the Greek version (Septuagint). The main redaction of Judges and Kings was made under the influence of the ideas which characterize Deuteronomy, that is, after the reforms ascribed to Josiah (2 Kings xxiii.); but in Samuel the " Deu,teronomistic hand is much less prominent and the chronological system which runs through Judges and Kings occurs only sporadically. The book of Samuel completes the history of the " judges " of Israel, (11th century B.C.), and begins by relating the events which led to the institution of the monarchy under Saul, the part played by Samuel being especially prominent (I Sam. i.-xiv.). The interest is then transferred to David, the founder of the Judaean dynasty, and his early life is narrated with great wealth of detail. As Saul loses the divine favour, David's position advances until, after the death of Saul and the overthrow of Israel, he gains the allegiance of a disorganized people (I Sam. xv.-2 Sam. iv.), and Jerusalem becomes the centre of his empire (v.-viii.) —c. 1000 B.C. A more connected narrative is now given of the history of David (ix.-xx.), which is separated from the account of his death and Solomon's accession (1 Kings i. ii.) by an appendix of miscellaneous contents (xxi.-xxiv.). Three lines of interest are to be recognized: (a) that naturally taken by Israel (the northern kingdom) in the history of its first king, Saul; (b) the leading position of the prophets in the political and religious events; and (c) the superiority of the Judaean dynasty, a feature of paramount importance in the study of a book which has come ultimately through Judaean hands. (On the ambiguity of the name " Israel," see JEws, § 5.) Proof of the diversity of sources is found in the varying character of the narratives (historical, romantic, &c.); in the different literary styles (annalistic, detailed and vivid, Deuteronomic) ; in the representation of different standpoints and tastes; in the concluding summaries, 1 Sam. xiv. 47-51 compared with xv., 2 Sam. viii. compared with x.; in the double lists in 2 Sam. viii. 15-18, xx. 23-26, &c. The religious views are so varied that a single writer or even a single age cannot be postulated; note especially 1 Sam. xv. 22 seq. contrasted with the use of teraphim in xix. 13, and the different conceptions of Yahweh (1 Sam. xii. 21 seq., xv. 22 and xxvi. 19, &c.).1 ' It is of course necessary to note carefully whether the religious ideas have any real chronological value. Thus, I Sam. xvii. 36, 46 seq. contain ideas of Yahweh characteristic of exilic and post-exilic writings (see T. K. Cheyne, Ency. Bib. col. 1755), but no proof of an early date is furnished by xxvi. 19b (cf. Ruth i. 16, I Kings xx. 23, 2 Kings xvii. 26 seq.); or 2 Sam. xxiv. 1 (cf. I Kings xxii. 20, Ezek. xlv. 9), or 2 Sam. xxi. I (note drought as the punishment for not Unsystematic additions appear to have been made from time to time on a considerable scale, and we not seldom find two accounts of the same events which not only differ in detail but are certainly of very different date. Thus, the saying " Is Saul also among the prophets?" (I Sam. x. 12) finds another explanation in xix. 18-24, where Samuel holds a new position as head of a community of prophets and the words are adapted to an incident in the history of David, who flees north (not south) and is wondrously preserved. The episode, with the interview between Saul and Samuel, and with its interesting attitude to Saul and to the prophets, was evidently unknown to the writer of xv. 35. Other and more profound differences relating to the rise of the monarchy (§ 2), the career of Saul (§ 3) and David's conquest of Jerusalem (§ 4) represent irreconcilable historical background. The first part of the book is concerned with Samuel and Saul. The introductory account (i.-iv. la) of the birth, dedication and calling of the young prophet Samuel is a valuable 2. Institapicture of religious life at the sanctuary at Shiloh. don of It is connected by the prophecy of the punishment the moat of the house of Eli (iii. II sqq.) with the defeat of the ohs'. Israelites by the Philistines at Ebenezer near Aphek, the loss of the ark (iv. lb-22), and its subsequent fortunes (v.-vii. I). A Philistine oppression of twenty years ends when Samuel, here the recognized " judge " of Israel, gains a great victory at Ebenezer near Mizpah (vii.). But the overthrow of the Philistines is also ascribed to Saul (xiv.), there is no room for both in the history of the prophet (see vii. 14), and it is now generally recognized that two conflicting representations have been combined. In one (a) Samuel, after his victory, continues to rule peacefully as a theocratic judge over the Israelites, the people demand a king, and although their request is viewed as hostile to the worship of Yahweh the tribes are summoned at Mizpah and the sacred lot falls upon Saul of Benjamin (vii. viii. x. 17-27). But in the other (b) the Philistines have occupied the heart of the land, the Israelites are thoroughly disorganized, and their miserable condition moves Yahweh to send as a deliverer the otherwise unknown Saul, who is anointed by Samuel, a seer of local renown (ix. 16, xiii. xiv.). The conclusion of the former is found in Samuel's farewell address (xii.) and the entire representation of Samuel's position, Saul's rise, and the characteristic attitude towards the monarchy (viii. 7, X. 19, xii. 12, cf. Deut. xvii. 14-20, Judg. viii. 22 seq., Hos. viii. 4, xiii. I1), separate it sharply from the relatively fragmentary narrative in (b); see further SAMUEL. The former, now predominating, account (a) is that of the Deuteronomic school, .and, although a running narrative, appears on closer inspection to be based upon earlier sources of different origin. The account of Eli, Shiloh and the ark (i.-iii.) is the 'natural prelude to iv.-vii. I, where, however, we lose sight of Samuel and the prophecy. The punishment of Eli and his sons (iv.) becomes a passing interest, and the fate of the ark is by no means so central an idea as its wonder-working in the Philistine territory. Moreover, the sequel of the defeat in iv. is not stated, although other allusions to the fall of Shiloh (Jer. vii. 12-I5, xxvi. 6, 9, Ps. lxxviii. 6o sqq.), and the subsequent reappearance of the priestly family at Nob (xxi. seq.) have led most scholars to the conclusion that a fuller account of the events must have been extant. A narrative of Eli and the priesthood of Shiloh has probably been used to form an introduction to Samuel's victory (vii.), and it has been supplemented partly by the account of the early life of the future prophet and judge (note the present abrupt introduction of Eli in i. 3) and partly by narratives of the history of the ark (v. seq.). That this section was handled at a relatively late period is clear not only from the presence of the Deuteronomic prophecy in ii. 27-36 (see § 6), but also from the insertion of Hannah's psalm (ii. I-io)—the prototype of the " Magnificat "—a post-exilic passage, " probably composed in celebration of some national success " (Driver), the present suitability of which rests upon the interpretation placed on verse 5. For the more fragmentary account of Saul's rise (ix. I–x. 16, xiii. 2-7a, 15b-23, xiv. 1-47), see above, page 194. Chapter xi., where he leads Israel and Judah to the rescue of their kinsmen of Jabesh-Gilead, rebuilding the temple, Hag. i. ; or for not attending the feast of Tabernacles, Zech. xiv. 16-19). 1. Position and contents. represents a situation which belongs to (a) rather than to the state of chaos represented in (b) ; it describes how the newly-elected king proved his worth (cf. x. 27, xi. 12 seq.). The compiler has used a story in which Saul is a private individual of Gibeah, whither the messengers came in the course of their mission (xi. 4 seq.). This valuable narrative is of quite distinct origin. Further, Samuel's speech includes himself among the past judges (xii. ii, cf..vii.), and refers to an Ammonite invasion (v. 12). The latter finds no place in the present history, although the local story of Jephthah's deliverance of Gilead (Judg. xi.) has been treated as the occasion of a general Ammonite oppression, which leads to an Israelite gathering, also at Mizpah (Judg. x. 7, 9, 17). For other evidence of compositeness in this section, see A. Lods, Etudes de theologie (Paris, 1901), pp. 259-284, and below, § 6. Saul.—Saul's reign is introduced in xiii. r where a blank has been left for his age at accession (some MSS. insert " thirty ") ; the duration of his reign is also textually uncertain. 3. The The formula is parallel to that in 2 Sam. ii. i o seq., kingdom o/ Saul. V. 4 seq., and frequently in the Book of Kings, with the additional feature that the age at accession, there usually confined to the Judaean kings, is here given for the Israelite Saul and his son Ishbosheth (i.e. Ishbaal). The summary in xiv. 47 sqq. is evidently by an admirer; it is immediately followed by a reference to the continuous Philistine warfare (v. 52, contrast vii. 13) which forms an introduction to the life of David. This summary gives a picture of Saul's ability and position which differs so markedly from the subsequent more extensive narratives of David's history that its genuineness has sometimes been questioned; nevertheless it is substantiated by the old poem quoted from the Book of Jashar in 2 Sam. i. 19-27, and a fundamental divergence in the traditions may be assumed. Similarly in 2 Sam. ii. 8-ioa, the length of Ishbaal's reign conflicts with the history of David (ii. 11 and iv. 1-v. 3), and the reorganization of (north) Israel with the aid of Abner does not accord with other traditions which represent David as the deliverer of (all?) Israel from the Philistine yoke (iii. 18, xix. 9). But ii. 8-ioa, in common with 1 Sam. xiii. 1, xiv. 47-51 (cf. also the introduction in r Sam. vii. 2 and the conclusion vii. 15-17), are of a literary character different from the detailed narratives; the redactional or annalistic style is notice-able, and they contain features characteristic of the annals which form the framework of Kings.' In Kings the Israelite and Judaean records are kept carefully separate and the in-dependent standpoint of each is at once obvious. Here, however, much complication arises from the combination of traditions of distinct origin: independent records of Saul having been revised or supplemented by writers whose interest lay in David. Little old tradition of Saul is preserved. The disastrous over-throw of Israel in the north (xxxi.) finds its explanation in an interview with the dead Samuel (xxviii. 3-25, here a famous prophet), where the Israelite catastrophe is foreshadowed, and Saul learns that he has lost the favour of Yahweh, and that his kingdom will pass to David (vv. 16-19). Allusion is made to his campaign against Amalek (mentioned in xiv. 48 apparently as an active enemy), the story of which contains another denunciation and again a reference to the coming supremacy of David (xv. 28). This peculiar treatment of Saul's history by writers of the prophetical school (cf. Ahab in x Kings xx. 35-43) has been adapted to the life of David, and the Amalekite war (r Sam. xv.) is now the prelude to the anointing of the youth of Bethlehem by Samuel (xvi. r sqq.). Yet another account of Saul's rejection is found in xiii. 8-14, even before his defeat of the Philistines, and Saul is warned of the impending change (cf. v. 13 seq. with 2 Sam. vii. 11-16). But the incident was evidently unknown to the author of chap. xv., and in this subordination of the history of Saul to that of David, in the reshaping of writings by specifically Judaean hands, we have a preliminary clue to the literary growth of the book. The unambiguous allusions in xiii. 13 seq., xv 26-28, and the anointing of David by Samuel in xvi. are ignored in the narratives of the relations between David and Saul, of whose first meeting two 'Characteristic expressions of Deuteronomic writers are found in 1 Sam. xiv. 47 seq. (cp. Judg. ii. 14 sqq.) ;'similarly in the (north) Israelite writer in 2 Kings xiii. 3 sqq. (see KINGS).contradictory accounts are given (contrast xvi. 21 sqq. and xvii. 55 sqq.). The independent stories of David place him in the south of Judah, an outlaw with a large following, or a vassal of the Philistines; and his raids upon south Judaean clans are treated as attacks upon Saul's kingdom (xxvii. 10-12). But the earlier stages are extremely confused. Two very similar narratives describe Saul's pursuit of David in the Judaean desert (xxiv. xxvi.)' The main points are Saul's confession and his recognition that David would prevail (xxvi. 21-25); the latter is more emphatic when he foresees that David will gain the kingdom of Israel and he adjures him to spare his seed (xxiv. 20-22). This last feature is prominent in xxiii. 15-18 (the prelude to xxiv.), where a passage is inserted to describe the covenant between David and Saul's son Jonathan. The account of David's flight is equally intricate. The tradition that David slew Goliath, brought his head to Jerusalem, and deposited his sword in Nob (xvii., cf. xxi. 9, xxii. io) is incompatible with the simpler notice in 2 Sam. xxi. 19 (1 Chron. xx. 5 seeks to avoid the discrepancy); and even if the name Goliath be a later addition to the story of some great exploit (A. R. S. Kennedy, Sam., pp. 122, 149), or a descriptive title (W. E. Barnes, Chron., p. ro4), it is surely difficult, on historical grounds, to reconcile David's recurring fights with the Philistines with his subsequent escape from Saul to Achish of Gath (xxvii.; already anticipated in xxi. 10-15); see further § 6. Saul's jealousy, however, is in some way kindled, and there is already a hint at David's succession ()viii. 8 sqq., Septuagint omits io seq.). The stories of Merab (xviii. 17-19) and Michal (vv. 20 sqq.) are duplicate, and a number of internal difficulties throughout are only partially removed in the shorter text of the Septuagint.. In xx. David has realized Saul's hatred; but Jonathan scarcely credits it, although in xix. 1-7 Saul had instructed his attendants to slay the youth and his son had effected a reconciliation. This is ignored also in xix. 8-so (cf. xviii. so seq., xx. 31 sqq.), and again in vv. 11-17 where David is saved by Michal his wife (see xxv. 44), and in vv. 18-24 (David with Samuel, see § 1 end). Even in xx. the urgent preparations for flight are delayed in vv. 11-17, where Jonathan entreats David's kindness for his descendants (seen Sam. ix. 1, below), and again in vv. 40-42, where the second meeting with a renewal of the covenant stultifies the preceding plans.' David.—All the stories of the relations between the founders of the respective monarchies are so closely interwoven that the disentanglement of distinct series of narratives is a task of the greatest difficulty .4 They reflect in varying 4' The kingdom forms the popular interest in David and are of the of David. greatest value in illustrating current traditions, thought and styles of literature. Apart from the more detailed and continuous history, there are miscellaneous passages in 2 Sam. v.-viii., with introduction (v. 1-3), and a concluding chapter rounding off his reign (viii.). A similar collection in xxi.-xxiv. severs the narratives in ix.-xx. from David's death in 1 Kings i.-ii. Their contents range over all periods, from the Amalekite 'war (viii. 12, cf. 1 Sam. xxx.) to David's " last words " (xxiii. 1, but see 1 Kings i. and ii. 1). In particular they narrate the capture of Jerusalem from the Jebusites (v. 6-1o) and other fights in that district as far as Gezer (vv. 17-25), the purchase of land from a Jebusite for the erection of an altar (xxiv.; see r Chron. xxi.-xxii. 1, 2 Chron. iii. 1), and the remarkable story of the pacification of the Gibeonites (xxi. 1-14). With the conflicts in v. are closely connected the exploits in xxi. 15 sqq., xxiii. 8 sqq., and the probability of some disarrangement is supported by the repetition of the list of officials in viii. 15-18 and xx. 23-26, which many scholars (after Budde) attribute to the later insertion of ix.-xx. 22. On this view, at an earlier stage the two groups v.-viii.,`xxi.-xxiv. were contiguous-though 2 It is difficult to decide which is the older; for xxvi. see especially M. Lohr, Sam., p. xlv. ; H. Gressmann, Schriften d. A. T., ad loc. ; for xxiv. see W. W. Guth, Journ. of Bibl. Lit. (1906), pp. 114 sqq. ' The keen interest in Jonathan is also conspicuous at the very commencement of Saul's career, where the youth (in ix. Saul himself appears to be represented as an inexperienced youth) is the centre of the narrative (see xiii. 3, xiv. 1-14, 17, 21, 27-45), rather than the father who now achieves the task to which he was called by Yahweh. But the revision has been too complicated for any satisfactory discussion of the literary stages. 4 On the attempts (especially of K. Budde, Richter u. Samuel, 189o, and elsewhere) to recover here the Yahwistic (or Judaean) and Elohistic (or Ephraimite) sources of the Hexateuch, see the criticisms of B. Stade, Theolog. Lit. Zeitung (1896), No. i ; Steuernagel, ib. (1903), No. s7; W. Riedel, Theol. Lit. Blatt (1904), No. 3, col. 28; also H. P. Smith, Journ. Bibl. Lit., 15 (1896), pp. 1-8; and W. W. Guth, Die altere Schicht in den Erzahlungen fiber Saul u. David (1904) ; and " Unity of the Older Saul-David Narratives " (see note 2 above). not necessarily in their present form or order' Budde's further conclusion that i Kings i. ii. 1-9, 13 sqq. were likewise wanting (Sam. p. xi.) is also valuable, since (a) 2 Sam. v.-viii. (with xxi.-xxiv.) finds its natural continuation, on the analogy of the Deuteronomic compiler's framework in Kings, in i Kings ii. 10-12, iii. 2, and (b) I Kings v. 3 seq. (also Deuteronomic) explicitly points back to the summary of the wars in 2 Sam. viii. It is commonly recognized that the compiler of 2 Sam. v.-viii. has wrongly placed after the capture of Jerusalem (v. 6 sqq.) the conflict with the Philistines (v. 17 sqq.), where the " hold " is not Zion but some place of retreat, perhaps Adullam (cf. xxiii. 14). This being so, the conflicts in xxi. 15 sqq., xxiii. 8 sqq., which are located around Gath, Lehi (so read xxiii. iI), Pasdammim (so v. 9; see 1 Chron. xi. 13), Bethlehem, and the valley of Rephaim, should also precede the occupation of Jerusalem and the subsequent partition of territory among David's sons and others (e.g. xiii. 23, near Bethel). These passages combine to furnish a representation of the events leading to the capture of the capital which is distinct from and now superseded by the detailed narratives in ii. 12-iv. Here, Ishbaal is east of the Jordan, David's men are engaged in fighting Benjamin and Israel—even at Gibeon (about 6 m. N.W. of Jerusalem), the interest of the history is in David's former relations with Israel at Saul's court, and he is regarded as the future deliverer of the oppressed people. These stories are, in fact, of a stamp with the detailed narratives already noticed (§ 3), and they conflict with the fragmentary traditions of David's steps to Jerusalem as seriously as the popular narratives of Saul conflicted with older evidence. But already Josh. ix. 17, xv. 63; Judg. i. 21, 29, 35, xix. 10-12; 2 Sam. v. 6 (cf. xxi. 2), indicate the presence of a line of alien cities including Jerusalem itself, and would point to an important alien district, the existence of which obviously bears upon the trustworthiness of the group of narratives encircling Bethlehem of Judah and Gibeah of Benjamin, the traditional homes of David and Saul' On the other hand, this would ignore the representation of (north) Israelite extension over Judah by Joshua and Saul,* and it may be inferred that we have to allow for absolutely different and conflicting standpoints in regard to the history of the district, and that the Judaean traditions of David once had their own independent account of the occupation of Jerusalem and its neighbourhood. The fragments preserved in 2 Sam. v.-viii., xxi.-xxiv. are quite distinct from ii. 12-iv.; they throw another light upon David's relations to Saul's family (xxi. 1-14) ; and the stories of heroic conflicts with giant-like figures of Gath, &c. (xxiii. 9 seq., 18, cf. I Chron. xi. II, 20) find no place by the side of the more detailed records of David's sojourn under the protection of a king of Gath, one of a confederation of Philistine cities (I Sam. xxvii., xxix.). It is probable that popular stories of the conquest of the earlier inhabitants have been applied to the Philistines; their general character associates them with the legends of the " sons of Anal( " who enter into Judaean (perhaps originally Calebite) tradition elsewhere (Num. xiii. 22; Josh. xi. 21 seq., xv. 14; see Budde, Sam., p. 310 seq.) * Several intricate literary problems however at ' Cornill, Nowack, Stenning and Kennedy (see Literature, below) accept Budde's suggestion that ix.–xx. were inserted by a hand later than the first Deuteronomic editor of viii.; but the further assumption that this editor had deliberately omitted ix.–xx. from his edition cannot be proved, and deals with a literary stage too early for any confident opinion or even for any critical investigation of value. s " Jerusalem " in i Sam. xvii. 54 is usually treated as an anachronism, because of its occupation by the Jebusites, and Kirjathjearim (vii. 1, 2, perhaps Kiryat el-Enab, 9 M. W. of Jerusalem) is commonly admitted to be in alien hands. But it is clear that Nob (i Sam. xxi. seq.), about 2 M. N. of the capital, on this view, was scarcely an Israelite city, yet the presence of the priests of Shiloh there is essential to the present structure of the book. ' For Joshua, see the older portions of Josh. x., and for Saul, I Sam. xiv. 47-51 (his wars), xv. 4 (his Judaean army), xvii. 54 (Jerusalem), xxvii. 7-12 (south Judaean clans under Israelite suzerainty) and 2 Sam. i. 12 (Septuagint). ' For this cf. the " Anakim " of Gaza, Gath and Ashdod, &c., in Josh. xi. 21 seq., with the " Philistine " lords, ib. xiii. 3, and see
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