Shmuel

February 5, 2014

Samuel; born to Chanah and Elkana. Chanah, who had been barren for many years, prayed with great intensity in the Mishkan at Shiloh, administered by Eli, the Priest. Eli initially believed her to be drunk, but when Chanah revealed to him the nature of her prayer, he promised that her prayer would be fulfilled by Hashem. (“Shmuel Aleph”/Samuel I 1:1-28 (entire chapter))

Shmuel was raised by Eli and became the last of the “Judges,” a group of Jewish Leaders who ruled the Jewish People, but not yet with the full powers of a King, in the years ca. (approximately) 1400 B.C.E. – 1060 B.C.E., and the first of the Prophets in the Land of Israel. King David, in Psalm 99, compares him to Moshe and Aharon, and the expression used there has entered the “Siddur,” the Jewish Prayer Book, in the Friday Night Service, “Moshe and Aharon were among His Priests, and Shmuel, among those who called upon Him.”

He was commanded by Hashem to anoint the first King of Israel, “Shaul.” When Saul faltered in the execution of Hashem’s command to totally annihilate Amalek, Shmuel was commanded by Hashem to strip the Kingship from Shaul, and to anoint David, as the Eternal King of Israel.