Critical Review on Heroism of Saul Essay
Thomas emphasizes Saul ‘s gallantry and attempts to carry his audience to believe in it. His attack is different from other bookmans as he draws our attending towards the fact that the storytellers of the books of Samuel are more interested in the personality of the characters involved instead than the political facet and background of the narrative.
First, in this article he stresses the subject of “ Rise of the lowly and autumn of the Mighty. ” This subject is put frontward through the three chief characters Saul, Samuel and David. Preston is proposing that all of these characters did non belong to a privileged household in other words came from a lower household background and ended up governing the Kingdom. Samuel, who from a place of a retainer at the shrine became a Priest displacing Eli. Saul who was a Farm- male child became The First King of Israel displacing Samuel, the Priest of Yahweh. David- a Shepard became the Second King of Israel displacing Saul the First King.
Second, Preston argues that the ruin of Saul was due to the ‘evil spirit from the Lord, ‘ which made him covetous of David ‘s military successes in the Kingdom of Israel. Preston is carrying us to believe that Saul was an guiltless individual by his nature and whatever he did was done by the evil spirit.
Third, harmonizing to Preston Saul dies as a hero on the battleground functioning the people of Israel against its enemies whereas David, old and infirm, died as an unheroic figure, in his bed enduring from changeless icinesss, comforted by a miss from the Harem.
The strength of this article lies in the fact that Preston was really converting in his analysis ; he did really careful and elaborate observations on each character, turn outing his deep research on Bible narratives. He forced us to alter the surface degree image of David which is found in 1 Samuel 24 ; 26 and seek to believe the dark side of him, which make us, reconstruct David ‘s character. He ripped the mask from David ‘s face, and showed him as a adult male who can kill for venom. He has strong cognition of ancient Israel history. He non merely looked at ‘fictional ‘ character but their correlativity with the historical background besides.
In my sentiment this form of ‘the rise of the lowly and autumn of the mighty ‘ is non applicable to the narrative of Old Testament. Saul was non lowly and this is non applicable to him, he became the victim of his ain destiny which was in the custodies of God. In my sentiment God is besides a character in all of the narrative narratives of Hebrew bible. From the really get downing the relationship between Saul and God was a via media due to the fact that Saul was appointed reluctantly. For illustration ( 1 Samuel 10:19 )
“ But you have today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your catastrophes and your hurts ; yet you have said, ‘No, but set a male monarch over us. ” It is really obvious from the narratives of Old Testament that how personal experiences of God turned out to be important in endurance of Israeli state over centuries. One can easy calculate out that how God has engineered the whole state of affairs of confusion and wretchedness for Saul ; how he slides into lunacy by arising God. ( Nicholson 2002, p76-80 ) Whenever the people follow the God ‘s values they flourish- but when they disobey they incurred God ‘s displeasure and the whole state suffer. Saul is chosen by God and non by the people as Samuel had God talking to him through his dream, in which he identifies Saul as King ( 1 Samuel 12 ; 11-13 ) . David progressed easy towards the thrown, because of the failure of Saul, he did n’t take the jurisprudence into his custodies, nor was he involved in Saul ‘s decease. Saul failed himself in forepart of God as did David. Both are anointed by God. Neither Saul nor David can be wholly admired or criticised. They both are shown as human existences who can do errors every bit good as achievements.A
Three things that I learned from this article are, foremost, I am able to recognize my ain reading or apprehension of the text as now I can indicate out the voice of people who are discussed briefly or in other words have non received the notice that they should merit. Second, God is the ultimate who is responsible for the Rise and Fall of everyone and everything. Third, my ain restrictions as human beings we are merely an agent in God ‘s custodies.
The book of Samuel came into being through a combination of independent pieces composed into one complex narration. Scholars take the narrations on the Ark in 1 Samuel 4-7 as one unit because of their accent on the hereafter of the Ark during a certain period ( Drane, 2000 ) . With the entry of the Ark we notice the disappearing of the chief character Samuel.
Historians propose that the day of the month for the Ark narration could be every bit old as 10 century BC and this was possibly to inform the pilgrims coming to the festivals in Jerusalem of the Ark ‘s earlier history and its importance ( Klein, 1983 ) . The Old Testament shows the religious relationship of the compact in Israel ‘s worship of God from the beginning ; even in the desert. A particular collapsible shelter Shrine frequently called the Tabernacle which in its Centre contained a wooden box ‘Ark of the compact ‘ was what the Israelites worshipped. It is really similar to the ‘holy boxes ‘ of Egypt and decorated with spiritual symbols. It has to be portable so that it was possible to transport from topographic point to topographic point. Yhwh could non be depicted visually through a statue so the Ark served the intent for the unseeable Yahweh ( McCarter, JR.1980, P108-109 ) .There is merely one transition in 1 Kings 8:9 which suggests that the Ark contained the existent tablets of the compact. The significance of the Ark in Israelite history can be found in their military histories, as harmonizing to their belief that triumph is impossible ( Num 14:44 ) . With the transition of clip the Ark seemed to derive more importance in the life of people. Even Israel ‘s earliest Kings had their destiny dependent on it e.g. Saul neglected and was rejected by God ; David respected it and so was successful. Different rubrics were used for the Ark in the Old Testament for illustration ‘Lord of hosts ‘ is used in mention to God ‘s presence. The term ‘Glory ‘ , used on a regular basis for mention ( 1 Sam 4:21-22 ) , ( Drane, 2000, p 54 ) . The first confrontation between the Israelites and Philistine can be depicted from the Bible. The Philistine ‘s were a typical group who appear as the oppressors of Israel and invaded Canaan between 1370-1200 BCE. They had a territory consisting of 5 towns. This confrontation took topographic point in Ebenezer ( Israelite Camp ) which resulted in catastrophe for Israel ( 1 Sam 4:3-11 ) . To hike the morale of the staying troop the seniors commanded Hophni and Phinehas to convey the Ark to them ; on its reaching they all cried out with joy around it. Hearing this, Philistines pulled frontward with their full force in order to win the Ark from them which they ended up making ( Hertzberg, 1964, P47-50 ) .
Verse 12 is triggered off with a memorable scene of the ‘messenger ‘ , running a ‘mini endurance contest ‘ of 20 stat mis with an air of suspense, have oning lacerate apparels, towards Eli. In malice of Eli ‘s sightlessness ( v15 ) , he was watching and waiting for the intelligence of the Ark of God. No affair of Eli ‘s failings and blemish the storyteller has implied that Eli has still concern for the Ark and this was more ascendant than his paternal inherent aptitude ( v18 ) .A Eli was last to hear the intelligence while, remainder of the metropolis knew. It could be due to Eli being sat on the Mizpah side of Shiloh ( v13 ) . On inquiring what happened the ‘messenger ‘replied to Eli in 4 hideous clauses ( v17 ) ( Smith,1992, p 34-38 ) , every bit shortly as he reaches the flood tide the old adult male fell down from his place interrupting his cervix in bend ( v18 ) . The writer added an account that Eli was ‘old and heavy ‘ . The ground to why Eli is mentioned as being heavy could be because he was a load on Israel ; could be due to his hapless direction over Israel. The intelligence of Phinehas and Hophni killed might non be good from Eli ‘s position, but in the eyes of the mean Israeli citizen the deceases of these two corrupt boies was non as bad ( Bodner, 2003, p 46-47 ) . Extra comments of his opinion for 40 old ages, is seemingly designed by the writer to convey him into the same category of Judgess as in the book of Judges.
To reason I can state that the Ark was a ocular symbolization of God for the Israeli ‘s and they treated it like a ‘lucky appeal ‘ or much like an graven image. For this we can presume that God punished Israel by doing them to lose the conflict and besides to lose their most cherished possession their ‘Glory ‘ ( Polzin,1989, P57-58 ).A A A
These congratulationss create a sanctum atmosphere conveying out the submissive nature of the hearer. Besides due to this a sense of dramatic sarcasm is produced. Saul enters the scene siting his Equus caballus accompanied by Abner and his soldiers in a really important mode. First, he commands the Priests to be soundless. He so inquires the High Priest of David ‘s visit and asks him where he went. Through Saul ‘s eyes one can picture that he is wholly unfearful of God and no longer cares about the effects. When the High Priest denies of David ‘s whereabouts Saul becomes enraged and commands Abner to kill the Priests of the Lord until the High Priest confesses. Now the job is that the Abner and the King ‘s functionaries refuse to raise the blade on the priests. So Saul points to one of his functionaries to kill the priests and on his refusal, He, angrily fired his spear down the functionary ‘s thorax. This suggests that Saul is so tangled up in his green-eyed monster and hatred of David that he is good prepared to kill, nevertheless many possible. This in bend thrusts Doeg to take up the occupation and volitionally putting to deaths one by one as he is originally an Endomite. In Saul ‘s ain words we hear ‘it takes a heathen to obey’.A Finally, every bit shortly as the High Priest mentioned David ‘s name Saul ‘s choler reaches at his extremum and the evil spirit wholly devours him doing him to take the Priest ‘s life.
What we deduct from this scene is that -Saul is barbarian, barbarian and selfish for the throne and its power ; ready to kill anyone that halts him in his way to make so. The Bible narrative conveys the same message portraying Saul as the cruel and cold blooded male monarch who is ready to acquire off the way of God in fuelled with green-eyed monster.
1 & A ; 2 Samuel tells the narrative about the passage of Israeli ‘s Religious province to a monarchy. The state which was led by the spiritual leaders or priests has now become a province header by a King. This passage of Israeli ‘s history is depicted in the narrative by three chief characters of 1 ; Samuel as the justice and priest, 2 ; Saul as a failed sovereign and 3 ; David as God ‘s ideal king.A ( Ehrlich & A ; White2006 )
Most of the 1 Samuel narrations concludes in the competition set by the writer between David and Saul. Besides through out the Books of Samuel David is presented as an ideal theoretical account of Kingship who is shown to hold reigned successfully for 40 old ages ( 2 Sam 5:4-5 ) ; the function of Saul projected in the history of the Israelite kingship is of arrant failure.A Another idea that could come to mind is that in Sam 1 the clip span of Saul ‘s reign is non given and so once more gives you an thought that Saul is undermined. ( Brooks, 2005 ) .The Narrative of the bible attempts to convert the reader to believe in legitimacy of David towards the throne of Israel. The narration has intentionally overshadowed the figure of Saul by Samuel and David. The figure of Saul has been depicted as really complex and shown to be in some topographic points as heroic, magnificence ( 1 Sam 9:1-2, 5-10 etc ) but in some topographic points he ‘s projected as the scoundrel out of the characters ( Samuel 14:36-44: 18:20-29: 1911-24: 20:20-34 etc ) .A A A
A A As we already discussed that the Israelites requested for a King to govern over them and this was wholly rejecting God every bit good as Samuel ( 1 Sam 8:6-10 ) . Due to this Samuel was insulted and in choler tried to deter the Israelites and do them gain that the male monarch will be prone to doing mistakes that a human is capable of ( 1 Sam 8:11-18 ) . Leading to this God chose a farm male child loath King ; really handsome ( 1 Sam 9.2 ) who was a great warrior besides. The chief ground in my sentiment to why the Israelites required a King with these traits was because they wanted person to take them good in the battleground. It ‘s rather obvious that Samuel a prophesier and a justice could n’t take an ground forces in a battleground.
Everything was good for Saul until he disobeyed Samuel in covering with Amalkites ( 1Sam 15:1-3 ) . God ‘s bids were to ‘utterly destruct all they have ‘ and to non save anything in their way. Then the storyteller starts to connote that Saul is incorrect headed and now Samuel the priest is more dominant of the two because of his rightness ( 1 Sam 15:13-26 ) . Samuel in bend charged him with rebellion and noncompliance with the bids given by God and besides Samuel strip off the Kingship from Saul. In torment and despair Saul fell down on the floor and grasped onto Samuel ‘s robe beggary for forgiveness ( 1 Sam 15:27 ) .A The storyteller is proposing here that Saul is n’t afraid of God but of the kingship being taken off from him. We can now picture that the spirit of the divinity is n’t with him any more and an evil spirit had invaded him. Even all of his household left him entirely allowing him make as he wishes ; they all were in favor of David for illustration: the friendly relationship of David and Jonathan and Michal ‘s matrimony to David significance she had to be at that place for him. The differences between Saul and his ain people becomes evident as he has to trust on an Endomite to transport out his bid of killing the priest ( 1 Sam 22:6-19 )
These brutal activities which take topographic point in this scene have been designed to terrorize and prohibit all the people of Saul from assisting David. In the terminal Saul realises what his strength is, and accepts his destiny by traveling into the battleground cognizing he ‘s already lost and takes his boies every bit good as his ain by falling on to his ain blade ( 1 Sam 31:4 ) . These destructive and dark minutes of his decease gives him the honor and unity for which he struggled in his last days.A
The Biblical text contains different beginnings developed over centuries reflecting assorted constructs of monarchy. Different bookmans have different points of position as ( Preston,1982:27-46 ) suggests that Saul is a portion of a larger narrative extending from 1 Samuel – 1 Kings 2. Harmonizing to him the narrative nowadayss the rise of the monarchy and the political passage that ‘s been brought frontward but the writer himself is keener on the characters responsible for conveying this passage frontward.
Biblical bookmans have late been debating rather to a great extent on the Hagiographas in the Bible stating that it is the merchandise of the writer ‘s believes in divinity. For illustration, Davies ( 1989 ) argues in is his book that it ‘s about impossible to believe that David is more historical than Joshua and Joshua than Abraham because there is no hint of cogent evidence outside the Biblical text. Harmonizing to him one individual has been portrayed otherwise by two different writers, for e.g. the character of David in Samuel 1 is wholly different to the David in Samuel 2.Van Seters ( 1983 ) as cited in Brooks ( 2005 ) A believes that in the Old Testament there were no earlier beginnings before the deuteronomist. Even though this is argued it ca n’t be denied that the bible itself is still a great beginning of history and merely extended research can help in what ‘s true and fiction.A
In my sentiment Saul did non hold diplomatic accomplishment to transport out the undertaking of transforming different folks into one coherent province. The chief ground of his ruin was the political convulsion environing him and that the support he had before acquiring anointed was non for him this clip. Last, the repute of David given to him through his personal appeal was excessively much to compare to Saul ‘s. On the whole the undertaking assigned to Saul proved excessively hard for him because of his in competence of unifying the old tribal ideals of people in an emerging province, his ruin was inevitable.
- Barbara Green ( 2004 ) How are The Mighty Fallen? A Dialogic Study of King Saul in 1 Samuel ; Continuum.
- Bodner, Keith ( 2003 ) National Insecurity A primer on the first Book of Samuel: Toronto, Clements Publishing.
- Brook Shalom Simcha ( 2005 ) Saul and the Monarchy: a new look- ( the society for Old Testament survey monographs ) ; Ashgate Publishing Limited, England.
- David, M. Gunn and Danna Nolan Fewell ( 1993 ) Narrative in the Hebrew Bible ; Oxford ; Oxford University Press.
- Diana, V. Edelman ( 1991 ) King Saul in the historiography of Judah Sheffield ; Sheffield Academic Press.
- Drane John ( 2000 ) Introducing the Old Testament Completely Revised and Updated: Oxford, Lion Publishing plc. Revised edition
- Ehrlinch, S. Carl White, C. Marsha ( 2006 ) VlllA Saul in narrative and Tradition ; Mohn Siebeck. Tibingen, Germany.
- Hertzberg, HW ( 1964 ) cubic decimeter & A ; ll Samuel, a commentary ; London: SCM Press Ltd.
- King David ( picture ) directed by Bruce Beresford ( 1985 )
- Klein W. Ralph ( 1983 ) World Biblical Commentary, Vol. 10, 1 Samuel: Word Books, Publisher. WACO, Texas [ 38-39 ]
- Mc Carter, JR. P. Ryle ( 1980 ) . 1 Samuel A New Translation with Introduction, Note and Commentary: Garden City, New York, DoubledayA & A ; Company, Inc.
- Niels Peter Lemche, David ‘s Rise, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament ( 1979 ) ; 4 ; 2
- Polzin ( 1989 ) Samuel and the Dentronomist: 1 Samuel ( A literary survey of the dentronomic history, Pt. 2 ) 1st Indiana University Press Edition 1993.
- Rogerson William John, Davies R. Phillip, ( 1989 ) the Old Testament World ; Cambridge University Press
- Sarah Nicholson ( 2002 ) . Three faces of Saul ; an Intertextual attack to scriptural calamity ; Sheffield Academic Press
- Smith Henry Preserved ( 1992 ) . A critical and Exegetic Commentary: Edinburgh, T & A ; T Clark Ltd [ 34-38 ]
- Thomas R. Preston, The Heroism of Saul in J. Cheryl Exum ( ed. ) The historical books ; Sheffield Reader ; Sheffield ; Sheffield Academic Press.
- W. Lee. Humphreys, From tragic Hero to Villain ; Study of the Figure of Saul and the Development of one Samuel, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 22 ( 1982 )