Old Testament Lesson 22 Study Notes: 1 Samuel 9-11, 13, 15-17

Though the lesson doesn’t include chapters 12 and 14, the manual recommends them as supplemental reading and I agree. We need to read them to see the full story. There is quite a bit in this section, from the choice of Saul as King, to his usurpation of Samuel’s authority and consequent loss of authority, to the choice of David to replace him, to Saul’s madness, to the story of David slaying Goliath. Rather than try to cover all of that material, these study questions will focus on chapters 9-10, 13, and 16: Saul’s selection and downfall; David’s election.

Chapter 9

Verse 2:

The phrase “a choice young man” is a hendiadys: “young and tob.” What the word tob means is debatable. Some translate it here as “handsome,” others as “impressive,” others as “good.” The root of tob means “pleasant,” so perhaps the majority of translators assume that the tob means “good-looking” as it is used here, particularly since the final comment of the verse is about physical appearance. (Compare this verse to 1 Samuel 10:23-24.) Why would Saul’s handsomeness be relevant?

Verses 5 & 21: What attributes of Saul’s character do we see here?

Verse 8: Why is the servant so intent on visiting the seer?

According to Tesamura’s The First Book of Samuel (270), at the time a shekel was 11.4 g of silver, slightly more than $6 today, but it is difficult to know what its purchase value was at the time.

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