September 27, 2019: Day 13 – I Samuel 13

What do you see as you read the first verse of this chapter?  Do you see the big hole that is there?  The literal translation of the Hebrew is: “Saul was…years old when he began to reign, and he reigned…and two years over Israel.”  You do know that we do not own the original manuscript of any of these texts.  We do not own the original document that John wrote when he wrote his Gospel or when he wrote Revelation.  We do not have the original letter to the church in Philippi.   We do not have the original text of whomever wrote Genesis.  What we have is a compilation of documents some of which go back to the 10th century, a few go back to the 1st century as a result of the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but most go back to the 14th or 15th century.  That is well over a thousand years from the time the document was originally written and to where we are today.  Think of how many times that document was written and rewritten.

It is no wonder then that there may be places in Scripture that we simply do not know and do not have the Hebrew that originally went in this place.  We can make really smart guesses as to what should be there.  For example we hear in Acts 13:21 that Saul reigned 40 years, but again, that is just a really good educated guess that in this place the number 40  should be added.

I don’t  want this original document reality to shake you up.  The Spirit of God has been present and has been evident in the rewriting of these text through the ages.  Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found the next oldest text was from the 10th century.  When the scroll of Isaiah was found and it was written nearly 1,000 years earlier, the document was virtually identical.  I say virtually because there were some differences but none of significance.  This is why Scripture continues to be the ultimate authority for me in how I live my life and how I make decisions.

So about this chapter.  It doesn’t take long for Saul to lose favor with the Lord.  He gets restless and doesn’t wait for Samuel to show up to offer the sacrifices as he is about to go against the Philistines.  He was getting restless because his troops were seeing the size of the Philistines and they were getting nervous and because it was taking so much time for Samuel to get there and for them to be ready for battle, Saul decides to wait no longer and to make the sacrifice himself.  When Samuel sees what he did he says: “What have you done?”  “You have done foolishly.”  As a result he is stripped of his throne.  That didn’t take long.  But it does take a while for him to give up his throne.

We also see Jonathan, his son, for the first time in this Scripture.  He is a grown man and he is not identified as his son until a bit later on.  Keep your eye on the relationship that Jonathan and David have.  It is pretty interesting.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *