Something Old, Something Older: Reconsidering 1 Sam. 2:27–36

Mark Leuchter


Recently scholarly discourse has offered two different
readings of 1 Sam. 2:27-36. One perspective is that the passage is primarily a
late Deuteronomistic composition geared to account for the rise of Davidic and
Zadokite circles, while the other perspective argues for its early and
distinctively northern linguistic features, pointing to an origin at Shiloh
independent of any Jerusalemite considerations. A third understanding of the
passage, though, is possible: the text originated in an early Ephraimite setting
and was later redacted to incorporate a more historically comprehensive concern.
The crux of this understanding is based on the presence of distinctively Mosaic
language and ideas which pertain to Shilonite circles and traditions. The
original form of the passage therefore points to the replacement of the corrupt
Elide line at Shiloh with a more suitable Mosaic tradent, and likely relates to
the rise of Samuel as the central bearer of the Shiloh tradition in the ensuing

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