"David and Goliath", "The Call of Samuel", "The Witch of Endor", "David and Bathsheba" - such stories are among the most famous from the entire ancient world. Though these stories are memorable and easy to follow, however, the books of "1 and 2 Samuel", where they are recorded, are among the most difficult ones in the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew text is widely considered corrupt and sometimes even unintelligible. The social and religious customs are strange and seemingly divergent from the tradition of Moses. In this first volume of an ambitious two-volume commentary on the books of Samuel, David Tsumura sheds light on the background of "1 Samuel" by looking carefully at the Philistine and Canaanite cultures, and he untangles the difficult Hebrew text. Tsumura also discusses such fundamental matters as the date, literary structure, and purpose of "1 Samuel" - to show that obedience to the word of God is the necessary condition for a king to be acceptable to the God of Israel.
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