asher63 (asher63) wrote,

Friday morning: Reading

I'm making my way through a second reading of Robert Alter's translation of the Early Prophets, 'Ancient Israel'. There is a special pleasure in reading someone who knows their material very well, and Robert Alter really knows his Bible. The notes on I Samuel, chapters 15 and 16, point out that most of Saul's commands are reported only as coming from Saul - and the text never explicitly states that (for example) the order to kill the Amalekites (15:3) comes from God. In Chapter 16, the torch is passed to an obscure young man, the youngest son of a shepherd in Bethlehem. Samuel's problem is how to anoint the new king without incurring the wrath of the old one. Meanwhile, back at the palace, Saul has been stricken with "an evil spirit from God" (16:16) - and an anonymous "lad" [נער] of the court proposes a remedy. And so the plot moves forward.
Tags: bible

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