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

  • Mark Leuchter

Abstract

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 narratives.
Published
2003-12-31
Section
Articles