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By Peter D. Miscall

In a decisive departure from conventional biblical scholarship, Miscall deals a analyzing of one Samuel that's strongly inspired by way of New feedback, Structuralism, and Deconstruction.

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Extra info for 1 Samuel : a literary reading

Sample text

There is civil war and the near extinction of a tribe, but the people and the tribe survive. " The fact serves to explain why Israel is so often sold into the hands of her enemies.  The absence of a king may account for the lawlessness in the land, but it does not address the issue of why the lawlessness can achieve its goals.  They have not been forgotten.  An ongoing concern of the reading will be the issue of retributive justice and what, if any, sense it makes.  In other words, does 1 Samuel continue the narrative of Judges; does it begin something new; does it repeat Judges, or some part of Judges, in some way?

The Song as a whole is a lure; it offers much but produces little.  Samuel ministers "in the presence of Eli the priest," who moves to the side and does not mediate the relation between Samuel and the Lord.  Ignorance is characterized as not knowing and as disregarding the Lord and his word.  Matters in 1 Samuel have so far progressed according to the "proper order" to the extent that the good, Hannah and Elkanah, are rewarded; we can therefore expect that the wicked will perish in darkness.  Samuel's link with priesthood is strengthened and a divinatory function is intimated, but there are serious qualifications.

The themes are dispersed through the text, and tracing them is part of the task facing the present reading of 1 Samuel. Eli concludes his rebuke of his sons, If a man sins against a man God will mediate [pillo] for him, but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede [yithpallel] for him?  What are we to make of such a weighty theological pronouncement?  3:13).  The rest of the OT does not witness such a sharp distinction between sins against humans and sins against the Lord, particularly if the distinction means that the latter cannot be atoned for in ways similar to the former.

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