Through the Bible in a Year – 1 Samuel 26-31

This Week’s Readings

Monday, May 21: 1 Samuel 25-31
Tuesday, May 22: 2 Samuel 1-6
Wednesday, May 23: 2 Samuel 7-10
Thursday, May 24: 2 Samuel 11-15
Friday, May 25: 2 Samuel 16-20

Monday, May 28, we’ll finish the last four chapters of 2 Samuel and finish the week with some Psalms and Proverbs. That will cause some change to the overall year’s plan. Sorry about that. I miscounted the number of chapters in 1 Samuel when I did the original plan. I made the changes on the year plan page, and I filled it out into August.

The overall year’s plan is here.

1 Samuel 27

When David was with Achish at Ziklag in Philistine territory, he was raiding the Geshurites, Girzites, and Amalekites. These were on the way to Shur, "even as far as the land of Egypt" (v. 8). This is all south of Philistine territory, away from Israel.

If he had turned east at the southern border of Philistia, he would indeed have come to the Negev, where he told King Achish he was doing his raids.

1 Samuel 28

In verse 6 we are told the usual means through which God speaks to a king: dreams, by the Urim and Thummim, or by prophets.

Since those weren’t working, we wind up with another very strange Bible story. King Saul actually goes to a medium and calls up the spirit of Samuel the prophet and judge!

Since most Christians don’t believe you can call up the spirits of the dead, many suggest that this was a demon that appeared to Saul and the medium. I don’t think so. I think this was really Samuel. Why God let that happen, I don’t know. In fact, I suspect that the reason that the medium cried out with a loud voice when she saw Samuel is because she wasn’t used to getting real responses to her seances. It was God who sent Samuel from the realm of the dead, not the medium who called him up.

Samuel sure talks like Samuel, and he gives exactly the message we would expect him to give to Saul.

1 Samuel 29-31

There’s no commentary needed on these stories. I want to remind you again not to be thrown by chapter breaks. Each book was written without chapter breaks. Those were added later, and often the decision about where to add them was not well made.

In the case of 1 and 2 Samuel, this applies even to the books themselves. 1 Samuel ends right in the middle of the story of David’s ascension to the throne. Taking a break between 1 Samuel 31 and 2 Samuel 1 is not really the greatest stopping point.

We’re going to do it for a day, though. Don’t think that we’re starting another book. Think that we are getting ready to read the second half of Samuel, which begins with David hearing about Israel’s defeat and the death of Saul.

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