Wednesday, June 13, 2018

1 Samuel 16

Curious that the very thing (the eyes) that Yahweh cautions against for the first son is noted for the last. I know you would not notice if I translated the traditional way. But why would I do that when perhaps the irony of the repetition is important.

The problems with Saul are on the surface here. Does Yahweh encourage his prophet to engage in subterfuge? What sorts of interactions does Yahweh have with these former prophets (Joshua to 2 Kings) in day to day conversations? How can a spirit of God be an evil spirit? It is probably better not to try to answer this question.

Verse 4 - why would the elders be apprehensive? (Perhaps we have to read the prior chapters first with their highly symbolic battles. Hold that question.)

1 Samuel 16 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵ֗ל עַד־מָתַי֙ אַתָּה֙ מִתְאַבֵּ֣ל אֶל־שָׁא֔וּל וַאֲנִ֣י מְאַסְתִּ֔יו מִמְּלֹ֖ךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
מַלֵּ֨א קַרְנְךָ֜ שֶׁ֗מֶן וְלֵ֤ךְ אֶֽשְׁלָחֲךָ֙ אֶל־יִשַׁ֣י בֵּֽית־הַלַּחְמִ֔י כִּֽי־רָאִ֧יתִי בְּבָנָ֛יו לִ֖י מֶֽלֶךְ
1 And Yahweh said to Samuel, How long will you be longing over Saul, for I have refused him from reigning over Israel.
Fill with your horn oil and go. I will send you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have seen in his children a king for me.
3c 4C 32
29
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל֙ אֵ֣יךְ אֵלֵ֔ךְ וְשָׁמַ֥ע שָׁא֖וּל וַהֲרָגָ֑נִי
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֗ה עֶגְלַ֤ת בָּקָר֙ תִּקַּ֣ח בְּיָדֶ֔ךָ וְאָ֣מַרְתָּ֔ לִזְבֹּ֥חַ לַֽיהוָ֖ה בָּֽאתִי
2 And Samuel said, How will I go? If Saul hears, then he will slay me.
And Yahweh said, A calf of the herd you will take in your hand, and you will say, I go to sacrifice to Yahweh.
3e 4C 19
26
וְקָרָ֥אתָ לְיִשַׁ֖י בַּזָּ֑בַח
וְאָֽנֹכִ֗י אוֹדִֽיעֲךָ֙ אֵ֣ת אֲשֶֽׁר־תַּעֲשֶׂ֔ה וּמָשַׁחְתָּ֣ לִ֔י אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־אֹמַ֖ר אֵלֶֽיךָ
3 And you will call Jesse into the sacrifice.
And I myself will make known to you what will you do, and you will anoint for me whom I will indicate to you.
3e 4B 10
27
וַיַּ֣עַשׂ שְׁמוּאֵ֗ל אֵ֚ת אֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֶּ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה וַיָּבֹ֖א בֵּ֣ית לָ֑חֶם
וַיֶּחֶרְד֞וּ זִקְנֵ֤י הָעִיר֙ לִקְרָאת֔וֹ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר שָׁלֹ֥ם בּוֹאֶֽךָ
4 And Samuel did what Yahweh had spoken, and entered Bethlehem.
And the elders of the city were apprehensive at his call, and said, In peace do you come?
3e 4C 19
19
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ׀ שָׁל֗וֹם לִזְבֹּ֤חַ לַֽיהוָה֙ בָּ֔אתִי הִֽתְקַדְּשׁ֔וּ וּבָאתֶ֥ם אִתִּ֖י בַּזָּ֑בַח
וַיְקַדֵּ֤שׁ אֶת־יִשַׁי֙ וְאֶת־בָּנָ֔יו וַיִּקְרָ֥א לָהֶ֖ם לַזָּֽבַח
5 And he said, Peace. To sacrifice to Yahweh, I come. Sanctify yourselves, and go in with me in the sacrifice.
And he sanctified Jesse and his children, and he called them to the sacrifice.
3e 4C 23
18
וַיְהִ֣י בְּבוֹאָ֔ם וַיַּ֖רְא אֶת־אֱלִיאָ֑ב
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר אַ֛ךְ נֶ֥גֶד יְהוָ֖ה מְשִׁיחֽוֹ
6 And it was when they entered and he saw Eliab,
and he said, Surely before Yahweh is his anointed.
3d 4B 11
11
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵ֗ל אַל־תַּבֵּ֧ט אֶל־מַרְאֵ֛הוּ וְאֶל־גְּבֹ֥הַּ קוֹמָת֖וֹ כִּ֣י מְאַסְתִּ֑יהוּ
כִּ֣י ׀ לֹ֗א אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִרְאֶה֙ הָאָדָ֔ם כִּ֤י הָֽאָדָם֙ יִרְאֶ֣ה לַעֵינַ֔יִם וַיהוָ֖ה יִרְאֶ֥ה לַלֵּבָֽב
7 And Yahweh said to Samuel, Do not take note of his appearance, or the loftiness of his height, for I have refused him.
For not what the human sees... for the human sees of the eyes, but Yahweh sees the heart.
3c 4C 29
25
וַיִּקְרָ֤א יִשַׁי֙ אֶל־אֲבִ֣ינָדָ֔ב וַיַּעֲבִרֵ֖הוּ לִפְנֵ֣י שְׁמוּאֵ֑ל
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר גַּם־בָּזֶ֖ה לֹֽא־בָחַ֥ר יְהוָֽה
8 And Jesse called Abinadab, and had him pass through before Samuel.
And he said, Even this, Yahweh has not chosen.
3e 4C 21
10
וַיַּעֲבֵ֥ר יִשַׁ֖י שַׁמָּ֑ה
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר גַּם־בָּזֶ֖ה לֹא־בָחַ֥ר יְהוָֽה
9 That Jesse had Shammah pass through.
And he said, Even this, Yahweh has not chosen.
3e 4A 8
10
וַיַּעֲבֵ֥ר יִשַׁ֛י שִׁבְעַ֥ת בָּנָ֖יו לִפְנֵ֣י שְׁמוּאֵ֑ל
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל֙ אֶל־יִשַׁ֔י לֹא־בָחַ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה בָּאֵֽלֶּה
10 And Jesse had seven of his children pass through before Samuel.
And Samuel said to Jesse, Yahweh has not chosen among these.
3d 4C 15
16
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵ֣ל אֶל־יִשַׁי֮ הֲתַ֣מּוּ הַנְּעָרִים֒ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר ע֚וֹד שָׁאַ֣ר הַקָּטָ֔ן וְהִנֵּ֥ה רֹעֶ֖ה בַּצֹּ֑אן
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵ֤ל אֶל־יִשַׁי֙ שִׁלְחָ֣ה וְקָחֶ֔נּוּ כִּ֥י לֹא־נָסֹ֖ב עַד־בֹּא֥וֹ פֹֽה
11 And Samuel said to Jesse, Are the lads complete? And he said, Still the youngest is residue, and behold, he is shepherding among the sheep.
And Samuel said to Jesse, Send and lay hold of him, for we will not turn round, until he has come here.
3e 4C 31
22
וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח וַיְבִיאֵ֙הוּ֙ וְה֣וּא אַדְמוֹנִ֔י עִם־יְפֵ֥ה עֵינַ֖יִם וְט֣וֹב רֹ֑אִי
וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יְהוָ֛ה ק֥וּם מְשָׁחֵ֖הוּ כִּֽי־זֶ֥ה הֽוּא
12 And he sent and brought him. And he was ruddy with beautiful eyes, and of good appearance.
And Yahweh said, Arise. Anoint him, for this is he.
3c 4C 21
13
וַיִּקַּ֨ח שְׁמוּאֵ֜ל אֶת־קֶ֣רֶן הַשֶּׁ֗מֶן וַיִּמְשַׁ֣ח אֹתוֹ֮ בְּקֶ֣רֶב אֶחָיו֒ וַתִּצְלַ֤ח רֽוּחַ־יְהוָה֙ אֶל־דָּוִ֔ד מֵהַיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא וָמָ֑עְלָה
וַיָּ֣קָם שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ הָרָמָֽתָה
13 And Samuel took the horn of oil and he anointed him among his kin. And the spirit of Yahweh thrived on David from that day and forward.
And Samuel arose, and he went towards Ramah.
3e 4C 41
13
וְר֧וּחַ יְהוָ֛ה סָ֖רָה מֵעִ֣ם שָׁא֑וּל
וּבִֽעֲתַ֥תּוּ רֽוּחַ־רָעָ֖ה מֵאֵ֥ת יְהוָֽה
14 But the spirit of Yahweh turned aside from Saul,
and a spirit of evil from Yahweh alarmed him.
3c 4B 11
12
וַיֹּאמְר֥וּ עַבְדֵֽי־שָׁא֖וּל אֵלָ֑יו
הִנֵּה־נָ֧א רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִ֛ים רָעָ֖ה מְבַעִתֶּֽךָ
15 And the servants of Saul said to him,
Behold, if you will, the evil spirit of God alarms you.
3c 4A 8
14
יֹאמַר־נָ֤א אֲדֹנֵ֙נוּ֙ עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ לְפָנֶ֔יךָ יְבַקְשׁ֕וּ אִ֕ישׁ יֹדֵ֖עַ מְנַגֵּ֣ן בַּכִּנּ֑וֹר
וְהָיָ֗ה בִּֽהְי֨וֹת עָלֶ֤יךָ רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים֙ רָעָ֔ה וְנִגֵּ֥ן בְּיָד֖וֹ וְט֥וֹב לָֽךְ
16 Let our lord say, if you will, to your servants before you, and they will seek a man that knows music on the harp,
and it will be when the evil spirit of God is over you, he will perform by his hand, and it will be good for you.
3e 4C 28
23
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר שָׁא֖וּל אֶל־עֲבָדָ֑יו
רְאוּ־נָ֣א לִ֗י אִ֚ישׁ מֵיטִ֣יב לְנַגֵּ֔ן וַהֲבִיאוֹתֶ֖ם אֵלָֽי
17 And Saul said to his servants,
Show me please a man who performs well, that you will bring to me.
3e 4C 9
16
וַיַּעַן֩ אֶחָ֨ד מֵהַנְּעָרִ֜ים וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הִנֵּ֨ה רָאִ֜יתִי בֵּ֣ן לְיִשַׁי֮ בֵּ֣ית הַלַּחְמִי֒ יֹדֵ֣עַ נַ֠גֵּן וְגִבּ֨וֹר חַ֜יִל וְאִ֧ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֛ה וּנְב֥וֹן דָּבָ֖ר וְאִ֣ישׁ תֹּ֑אַר
וַיהוָ֖ה עִמּֽוֹ
18 And answered one from the lads, and he said, Behold, I have seen a child of Jesse of Bethlehem that knows performance, and is valiant of ability, and a warrior, and discerning of word, and handsome,
and Yahweh is with him.
3c 4B 48
4
וַיִּשְׁלַ֥ח שָׁא֛וּל מַלְאָכִ֖ים אֶל־יִשָׁ֑י
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר שִׁלְחָ֥ה אֵלַ֛י אֶת־דָּוִ֥ד בִּנְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּצֹּֽאן
19 And Saul sent messengers to Jesse,
and said, Send to me David your son that is with the sheep.
3d 4A 11
16
וַיִּקַּ֨ח יִשַׁ֜י חֲמ֥וֹר לֶ֙חֶם֙ וְנֹ֣אד יַ֔יִן וּגְדִ֥י עִזִּ֖ים אֶחָ֑ד
וַיִּשְׁלַ֛ח בְּיַד־דָּוִ֥ד בְּנ֖וֹ אֶל־שָׁאֽוּל
20 And Jesse took an ass, bread, and a bottle of wine, and one male kid of the she-goats,
that he sent by the hand of David his son to Saul.
3d 4B 18
12
וַיָּבֹ֤א דָוִד֙ אֶל־שָׁא֔וּל וַֽיַּעֲמֹ֖ד לְפָנָ֑יו
וַיֶּאֱהָבֵ֣הֽוּ מְאֹ֔ד וַֽיְהִי־ל֖וֹ נֹשֵׂ֥א כֵלִֽים
21 And David came to Saul, and he stood before him,
and he loved him very much, and he became for him a bearer of instruments.
3e 4C 15
14
וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח שָׁא֔וּל אֶל־יִשַׁ֖י לֵאמֹ֑ר
יַעֲמָד־נָ֤א דָוִד֙ לְפָנַ֔י כִּֽי־מָ֥צָא חֵ֖ן בְּעֵינָֽי
22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying,
Let David stand, if you will, in my presence, for he has found grace in my eyes.
3e 4C 10
15
וְהָיָ֗ה בִּֽהְי֤וֹת רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל־שָׁא֔וּל וְלָקַ֥ח דָּוִ֛ד אֶת־הַכִּנּ֖וֹר וְנִגֵּ֣ן בְּיָד֑וֹ
וְרָוַ֤ח לְשָׁאוּל֙ וְט֣וֹב ל֔וֹ וְסָ֥רָה מֵעָלָ֖יו ר֥וּחַ הָרָעָֽה
23 And it was when the spirit of God was on Saul, that David took the harp and he performed by his hand,
and there was spirit for Saul, and it was good for him, and the spirit of evil turned aside from him.
3d 4C 27
20

Note the repetition of רוח, spirit - three times in verse 23 alone. Here is the beginning of the relationship between Saul and David that will dominate the rest of the first book of Samuel. It is a complex psychological relationship.

  • begun with fear of Saul's vengeance by Samuel,
  • involving 'spirits' both good and evil that belong to Yahweh,
  • and a man with a handful of talents whom Saul himself loved,
  • soon to be coloured by the love between David and Saul's son, Jonathan,
  • and culminating in the first chapter of second Samuel with the magnificent music for David's elegy on the death of Saul and Jonathan.

There is a performance with a spoken intro by Chanticleer here. Below is my own automated transcription with brief accompaniment that I wrote down for a class last year.