Introduction to 1 Samuel: After reading the introduction to 1 Samuel in the CEB study bible, I’m excited about reading both books of Samuel. I’m finally getting into King David. The overview of Samuel from the CEB study bible is interesting. I will actually touch on it when I get to 2 Samuel as the introduction is the same. I think one reason it is the same is because according to the notes in the CEB version and the NRSV version, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel used to be one book. The original book was split into two books “in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible and grouped together with the book of Kings (also divided in two) to form 1-4 Reigns or 1-4 Kingdoms. These divisions were later introduced into Hebrew Bibles and subsequently became standard.” (NRSV, p. 399)
1 Samuel 1: I’m already intrigued with Samuel and with his mother, Hannah. She so desired a child that she was willing to give her child to the service of God if he granted her wish. That must’ve been very challenging to give up her child at such a young age. Eli the priest asks God to bless Hannah and give her more children. She has three more sons and two daughters.
1 Samuel 2: As for Eli, his sons (who were priests) end up being pretty questionable. They did many questionable things that directly led to the downfall of Eli and his family: (1) they kept the best meat intended for sacrifice to God for themselves and (2) they had sex with the women who served at the entrance of the meeting tent. God’s messenger comes to Eli and tells him his son’s actions, as well as his inability to directly challenge and stop his sons, will lead to the downfall of almost everyone in his family.
1 Samuel 3: Now we get to the part where God starts to directly communicate with Samuel. I like that instead of him recognizing God from the beginning, Samuel was confused and continued to ask Eli why he was calling him. I gotta admit, I would’ve been confused too. Finally Eli realizes that God is the one calling Samuel and he tells him to just say “Speak, your servant is listening.” God then tells Samuel that Eli’s family will be punished because of his son’s bad actions. Because of this first visit from God, the people realized that Samuel was the Lord’s prophet and began to trust him.
As with earlier reflections, I really do wonder what this was like for Samuel. One moment he’s any normal boy and the next he’s speaking directly to God. That would freak me out.
1 Corinthians 11: The first part of this chapter is a little confusing to me. The focus is on how men should not have their head covered when they worship God and women should have their head covered. Paul goes on and on about this. He talks about how women were made for the sake of men, women are men’s glory, etc. It’s all sounds like he’s arguing that men have a higher status than women. Yet, he says this: “…woman isn’t independent from man, and man isn’t independent from woman in the Lord. As woman came from man so also man came from woman” (CEB Study Bible, p. 322NT-323NT; 1 Cor. 11.11-12). This seems to completely contradict what he says in the first several verses of this same chapter.
The last part of this chapter focuses on how to behave when taking communion. He wants people to recognize that they can’t and shouldn’t mistreat anyone, including the poor and less fortunate, during the time of communion. Sounds a lot like the whole “all are welcome” at God’s table statement I hear every time I’m at church. Makes me happy!