1 Samuel 1 – The Birth of Samuel

Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife tormented Hannah because she was barren.  Another great example the Old Testament shows us of how deviating from God’s intention of one woman and one man in marriage (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:3-9) so often causes problems and heartache.  Two other of many cases in point are Abraham (Sarah and Hagar, Gen 16:1-6), and Jacob (Leah and Rachel, Gen 30).

Shiloh, the modern Khirbet-Seilum is 20 miles north of Jerusalem toward eastern border of Ephraim is where Hannah went with her husband Elkanah, as he sacrificed there. Hannah went to the temple (verse 11) and prayed to God for a son, and promised to give him to serve the Lord dedicated as a Nazirite (Num 6).  She was weeping, and Eli the priest thought she was drunk, and rebuked her. When she explains her grief, he blesses her. After she returns to Ramathain-Zophin with Elkanah, she does conceive a son and names him Samuel (verse 20).  After he was weaned, Elkanah supported her in her vow to the Lord and took sacrifices with them to Shiloh (verses 23-24). Hannah reminded Eli of their meeting, and presented Samuel to him for service to the Lord (verses 26-27).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Judges 16 – Samson and Delilah

Samson destroys the temple

Samson destroys the temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Lord was with him, His gift to Samson was great strength.  Obviously, it wasn’t accompanied by much wisdom.  His blindness to coming betrayal, first by his wife and now by Delilah (verses 6, 10, 13, 15) seems to be a foretaste of the Philistines’ treatment of his eyes (verse 21).  Pair this naivety with his continued lack of regard for the Lord’s commandments, and his confidence in his own might, and you see the path his downfall.

Samson is, as usual, out of control from the start of the chapter. He visits a common prostitute in Gaza in verse one.  The Gazites, discover he is there and lay an ambush for him, but he just pulls the city gates out of the ground and carries them away.  The gates would be about two stories high with posts set deep in the ground that he pulled up with his brute strength.

When he allowed his hair to be cut, it broke the last of his Nazirite vows, and the Lord was no longer with him.  But in verse 20, he did not expect that to ever happen.  He had always done as he pleased before., so his capture surprised him.  His prayer in verse 28 and God’s will to stir the Israelites are what returned his strength long enough to bring the house down on himself and 3,000 of the Philistines.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Judges 14 – Samson’s Marriage

Samson kills a lion with his bare hands

In verses 1-3, Samson decides he must have a Philistine woman he saw for his wife.  This was expressly forbidden in Deuteronomy 7:1-3.  In verses 8-9. he violates his Nazirite vow (Numbers 26) by touching the lion’s carcass.  As for his wedding feast, the Hebrew word in verse 10 is “mishteh” which denotes a feast with much drinking.  If Samson participated, such would be another violation of his vow.

Samson right away begins to show disregard not just for his Nazirite vow, but for the will of God in general. Unfortunately, it will not get any better, as we will see in the next two chapters.  So why was he chosen even before birth in chapter 13?  Why was the spirit of the Lord with him so much of the time, such as when he tore the lion to pieces with his strength (verses 5-6)?  Verse 14 gives us the answer – God was going to use him against the Philistines in his own way. This time, the people were not crying out at their plight – at  least not yet.  They needed someone to stir things up – and to wake them up!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Judges 13 – The Birth of Samson

The wife of Manoah (woman in a veil and wimple)

The wife of Manoah (woman in a veil and wimple) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 13 brings us to the most famous of the judges, Samson.  Unfortunately, his story is one of the most misunderstood by most people.  His power came from God, and it left him because of his lack of self-control and unfaithfulness to the Lord, as we will see in the next three chapters.  The angel of the Lord appeared first to Samson’s childless mother, and told her that she would have a son. and would be a Nazirite.  Her husband Manoah showed his faithfulness first when instead of questioning what she said, prayed to God, wanting to have the opportunity to be instructed how to raise the child.  When asked his name, the angel of the Lord replied that it was too wonderful for man to comprehend (verse 18).

Any man or woman could take a vow to become a Nazirite as told in Numbers 6.  It was a vow to set ones self apart for God, and it came with certain restrictions, including no razor to the hair, no fruit from a vine, and no contact with the dead (corpses).  After Samson was born, verses 24-25 relate that as the young man grew, the spirit of the Lord began to “stir him.”  The Philistines were in control of the Israelites, and God would use Samson to stir the people as well.  Clearly, they needed it.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.