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15th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 15. This chapter details Saul’s successful (?) war against one of the Amalekite tribes in the north Sinai and includes Samuel’s famous rebuke in which obeisance to God is recognized as more significant than offerings.
14th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 14. This long chapter details the war against the Philistines, instigated by Jonathan – but also presents Saul’s failings as he takes several oaths which he cannot fulfill.
13th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 13. This lecture deals with problems of scribal error (v. 1) and the contribution of archeology to our understanding of the text in the case of the meaning of the word “Pim”
12th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 12. The final – and most festive – coronation of Saul, includes a discussion of “historisophy” and notes a repetition of Samuel’s plaint that his sons are still proper leaders (?)
11th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 11. Saul, who has not yet claimed any of the trappings of royalty, rallies the people to battle to save the tribes in Yabesh Gilead from the Ammonite king. The literary device of resolution (“closing circles”) specifically as it relates to the end of the book of Shoftim, is discussed here.
10th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 10. The 3 “signs” given to Saul on his journey home are explained as symbolic of his original journey, confirming his selection as leader of the people. References to the geographic problem of the location of Rachel’s tomb and pointers to some of the literature on the subject.
9th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 9. This is the beginning of the second sub-unit of the text – “Sefer Shaul”. The lecture includes a discussion of identifying the era of publication of Sefer Shmuel based on a careful reading of v. 9, the use of the leitwort “matza” and Samuel’s technique for raising the esteem of the putative king. In addition, a discussion about the difference between past perfect and past imperfect is included.
Parashat Vaychi – an archival recording of a class given by Rabbi Etshalom in a private home in December, 2003.
8th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 8. Chapter 8 is the bridge between “Sefer Shmuel” and the Shaul cycle or “Sefer Shaul”, including the people’s request for the king and presentation of the “rights of the king” (Mishpat haMelekh)
7th lecture on the Book of Samuel. Samuel I, Chapter 7, including a discussion of the Bible’s rhetorical use of “inclusio” (bookends) to demonstrate literary unity and the completion of a section of the text. Chapters 1-7 are considered “Sefer Shmuel” as his life is summarized at the end and various phrases and key words which appear at the beginning of the book are mirrored at the end of ch. 7